Michael Gallanter and Ethan Wynne-Wade Sentenced For Airplane Drug Bust
Two men have been sentenced to prison after landing a plane containing illegal narcotics in Lubbock earlier this year.
The duo, 48-year-old Michael Gallanter and 31-year-old Ethan Oliver Wynne-Wade were each sentenced to more than three years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings on Friday.
Gallanter and Wynne-Wade were arrested after their arrival in Lubbock on April 17th, 2013.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air Interdiction agents had received information that a particular small aircraft had been operating under suspicious circumstances.
The suspicious circumstances included paying for their fuel with cash, fueling their own plane, having a large amount of luggage in the passenger compartment, and departing in poor weather conditions.
The Piper PA28-181 aircraft had been rented from the Travis Air Force Base Aero Club in Rio Vista, California, where some individuals renting aircraft were breaking flight rules and procedures.
Around 10:15 p.m. on April 17th, agents contacted the aircraft to conduct a ramp check as they were about to refuel at Lubbock Aero at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.
A drug detector dog alerted to the presence of drugs, and federal agents found six large military-style duffle bags and four smaller bags inside the passenger compartment.
They found 98 plastic bags of marijuana, four bags of hashish, and two bags of psilocin mushrooms.
Gallanter and Wynne-Wade have been ordered to voluntarily surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in October 2013.