Deputies seize more than $300,000 worth of pot smuggled on plane

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies seize nearly 200 pounds worth of marijuana on Monday, with a street value of more than $300,000.

They said Joshua Overton and Aaron Andrus flew the marijuana into the Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport Monday night, but before they touched down, deputies got a call from the Department of Homeland Security telling them the two might be smuggling drugs.

“It’s probably not their first time being involved in drug smuggling,” said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis at a press conference at the airport Thursday afternoon.

The sheriff said the pair landed the million dollar Beechcraft Baron Monday night, but deputies but didn’t have enough cause to hold them.

Hours later when deputies executed a search warrant, they found the plane packed with pot, but by then, Overton and Andrus were long gone.

“It was pretty sophisticated, as you can see by the packaging,” Sheriff Nienhuis told News Channel 8.

Aaron Andrus
Aaron Andrus

The pot was neatly sealed in the passenger’s compartment in vacuum-packed bags stuffed into duffel bags.

“I would say there’s a very good likelihood this is not the first time they smuggled drugs,” Nienhuis said.

But, was this their first time to Brooksville? The sheriff said yes.

He said the pair took off from California and thought Brooksville would be off the fed’s radar, but that wasn’t the case.

Joshua Overton
Joshua Overton

Now, the sheriff and local lawmakers are glad this pot never made it to its final destination.

“I’m proud that this is not on the streets,” said state Senator Wilton Simpson. “People are losing their lives or worse in some cases.”

“I think at the very minimum, it inhibits our economic recovery and at the maximum, lives are lost,” Nienhuis told News Channel 8.

Neither man has a criminal record.

If you see them, you’re urged to contact the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

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