Authorities Name Pilot of Hunt County Pot Plane
Authorities in Hunt County say they’re not sure if they’ve collected all the duffle bags of marijuana dropped onto houses from a plane earlier this week. So far, more than 600 thousand dollars worth of pot has been recovered. Hunt County Undersheriff Joe Knight tells KRLD they arrested one man at a bus stop, and now they’ve identified the pilot as 44 year-old Derin Fayne who is from California. It’s believed the plane was ditched after it ran out of gas. Several people were woken up when duffle bags of pot fell on their houses. Below are pictures of Fayne and of the pot the officers have recovered. Below the pictures is a more detailed description of the event.
On July 19, 2010 at 5:22 am the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office received a teletype to be on the lookout for a low flying aircraft that was involved in an incident with federal authorities. Deputies did not locate any downed aircraft at that time. At 7:29 am the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a downed aircraft at the Caddo Mills Airport. The Federal Agency looking for the aircraft was notified.
Deputies arrived on the scene and found a single engine aircraft that appeared to have landed near the runway. DPS was called, and they subsequently determined that there was no plane crash, merely a landing. The Hunt County SO K9 was summoned. A K9 search was initiated. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by a K9 from the Greenville Police Department. The K9s followed a track to a nearby convenience store.
The manager of the convenience store reported that there were two subjects at his store when he opened at 6 am seeking information on the location of the nearest bus station. After determining the bus schedule, Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville Police Department set up undercover surveillance at the bus station. Shortly thereafter a person matching the description of one of the suspects was taken into custody for questioning. It was later discovered that he was in violation of his Parole from California. His name has not been released pending arraignment. It is unclear if he is involved in this incident.
At 9:45 am the Sheriff’s Office received a call stating that a resident from the Neylandville area heard a low flying aircraft over night, followed by a “thud”. He went outside to investigate, but found nothing amiss. After coming out in the daylight however, he noticed a large, black nylon duffle bag on the roof of his home. Deputies retrieved the duffle bag. Later an additional call was received in the same area stating a similar type bag was found in a yard. Deputies on the ground assisted by a DPS air unit located two additional similar bags in the same general area. The duffle bags contained what is believed to be 71 pounds of hydroponic marijuana.
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office K9 also alerted on the aircraft indicating the presence of contraband. A warrant was issued to search the aircraft shortly before 4 pm. The subsequent search yielded and additional 89 pounds of what is also believed to be hydroponic marijuana as well as additional evidence. Based on the evidence collected, a warrant has been issued for an individual that is believed to be the pilot of the plane. Deputies are now looking for Darin FAYNE. He is described as a 44 year old white male, brown hair, blue eyes, 5?11? 180 pounds, clothing unknown. Anyone seeing a person matching this description is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office @ 903-453-6800 or by logging on to http://www.friendsofthesheriff.com. Do not approach. This suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
Assuming a street value of this type of high grade marijuana is estimated to be approximately $4000 per pound, the total value of this seizure is believed to be $640,000.00. That amount may go even higher if additional “duffle bags” are located. Agencies cooperating in today’s incident were the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, the Caddo Mills Police Department, the Greenville Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and US immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Additional information on the original event may be obtained by email firstname.lastname@example.org.