A Canadian man was sentenced to 8 years in prison on Friday for possession of nearly 300 pounds of cocaine in a plane that went down near Athens, Ohio on March 29.
Sylvain Desjardins, 48, who is from a suburb of Montreal, Canada, was sentenced in U.S. District Court along with David Ayotte, 46.
Ayotte pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Ayotte was sentenced to just more than 5 years prison on Friday.
On March 29, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations center official in California detected an aircraft traveling from the Bahamas to Canada, court documents said.
The plane diverted to Gordon K. Bush Airport at Ohio University and officials from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, who, along with agents from HSI, executed a search warrant on the plane upon arrival.
While doing so, investigators discovered approximately 132 kilograms or about 290 pounds of cocaine, said Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
According to prosecutors, Desjardins was the pilot and Ayotte was his passenger. The two men were flying the cocaine to Canada to distribute it, but discovered the plane was having mechanical issues and had to make an emergency landing, prosecutors said.