Monday, December 19, 2011

Pilot sentenced for role in marijuana smuggling

A Kissimmee pilot was sentenced to five years in federal prison Monday for his role in a marijuana smuggling operation, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Randall C. Starcher, 44, pleaded guilty in October in Orlando federal court to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

In addition to the prison sentence, Starcher was also ordered Monday to forfeit a Cessna 206 aircraft, which was used to transport the drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Starcher was paid to fly loads of marijuana from Texas to Central Florida from 2009 to 2010.

There were about 500 pounds of the drug on board the airplane for each flight, and prosecutors say Starcher made at least 10 round-trip flights to and from Texas.

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