Tuesday, October 30, 2012

AMERICAN FALLS, IDAHO - Suspect arrested in stolen plane case

Brian Haynes

AMERICAN FALLS — Five years since a small single-engine airplane was stolen from the American Falls Airport, and with the statute of limitations running out on charging someone for the crime, the Power County Sheriff’s Office believes one of the men responsible is now in custody. 

Brian Haynes, 66, was arrested in Fairfield, Mont., Sunday on the orders of U.S. Marshals in Pocatello, after a warrant was issued by the Power County Prosecutor. And Jackie Morris, chief deputy of the Power County Sheriff’s Office says they aren’t done yet.

 “There is one more active warrant and more people could be charged,” Morris said.

Det. Sgt. Max Sprague first investigated the case in 2007, eventually turning it over to federal law enforcement. He took that case back earlier this year as leads developed.

A 2003 AMD Alarus was stolen from American Air at the American Falls Airport in 2007, and Sprague said he worked the case for about three months when he decided to take all he had to the FBI and ask them to work the case.

They took the case, and that meant the agency had complete control over the case.

But Sprague eventually found himself working another case involving Haynes, and felt some of the information from that case would be helpful to the FBI and their efforts in the 2007 case. He contacted them and gave them that information.

 But in his conversations with the FBI, Sprague eventually decided he wanted to bring that case back to Power County. That was in May.

“I worked nonstop on that for about five months,” he said. “Every warrant I executed brightened the picture a little bit.”

Sprague said he eventually ended up in Texas at a location where he believes the airplane in question was flown and then taken apart.

With the Oct. 14 statute of limitation deadline on charging someone in the crime fast approaching, Sprague was able to compile all that he had and submit it to Power County Prosecutor Randy Kline, who issued the warrant for Haynes, as well as one for another person on Oct. 9.

Morris said Monday evening that detectives were in route to Montana to interview Haynes. He said depending on the results of that interview, and extradition proceedings, Haynes could be transported to Power County as soon as a couple of days or as long as two weeks.

“It will be up to him to decide whether or not he fights extradition,” Morris said.

 Haynes is charged with grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft, both felonies. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Story and photo:  http://www.idahostatejournal.com

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