Monday, April 29, 2013

United States Citizens Accused of Drug Trafficking in Honduras

Utila BICA an WSORC Light Hawk Volunteers free and clear in Honduras

Editors Note:   Above is the final video recap of the experience USA LightHawk Volunteers in Honduras endured after being accused of drug trafficking in Honduras. As you can see in the video, the accused have been “cleared of all charges”.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank the various volunteers in Utila, Roatan, La Ceiba, El Progreso and Tegucigalpa who assisted in clearing up this unfortunate error.

We would like to also thank the Honduras law enforcement and forensic team for doing their jobs in a very professional and expedient manner, the lawyers and interpreters, the fiscalia, and the Ministerio Publico de Honduras. In addition, the Utila United effort, as well as the Utila police force, which as you can see, treated our Honduras guests with the utmost respect.

In addition, thank you very much to the ICF, BICA, CANATURH, FundaciĆ³n Cuero y Salado, as well as the media, who helped cover this incident in a responsible fashion. HQTV Utila, Tele Progresso (TP) and its various affiliate TV stations in Honduras, Radio Ceiba, Estereo 100, Radio America, and HRN. 

Last but not least, the many volunteers and tourists who assisted.   Additionally, special appreciation goes out to our Team photographer and video productions editor, Carlos Melgar, for his numerous hours, and our Honduras national correspondent, Roberto Zuniga.

Editors Note: Si se puede Catrachos! 

Editors Note - Breaking News:  The  US citizens accused of drug trafficking in Honduras (LightHawk volunteers) left Utila at 1:00 pm, Honduras time for Belize today, where they will continue their mission work.  The two individuals stated they will return to Honduras in the future.  A live interview was taped and is being edited for publication. Please check back to see the final video interview with the LightHawk volunteers.

April 26, 2013

Editors Note:  Moments ago we received a phone call stating that the Accused have had their belongings returned and will be in Utila shortly. will provide their story once they have a chance to “re-group”. 9:15 AM Friday April 26, 2013. Thanks to everyone who assisted, and to the Honduras Government for recognizing their mistake. – Team [ LightHawk, please accept our sincere apology, and don't let this dissuade you from continuing to help our country.]

The public ministry granted two US citizens accused of drug trafficking in Honduras, release on their own recognizance.  The Americans were piloting a small plane and subsequently arrested last Friday (April 19, 2013) in Utila, Bay Islands, on suspicion of a drug trafficking crime.

The authorities will practice an ion test on the seized aircraft to identify possible traces of drugs.

Carl Wayne Mattson and Julie Anna Boyd were set free, but are still under investigation by prosecutors and police.

The report of the Departmental Headquarter number 11 states that according to research and information from the Directorate of Drug Trafficking and the Air Force, the plane piloted by both citizens unloaded drugs in the sector of Cuero y Salado (a Wildlife Refuge where Manatees enjoy their freedom, as well as many other species of protected wildlife), and then flew to La Ceiba, where they refueled.

Later they left for the island of  Utila.  When the plane landed, they were stopped immediately by policemen who awaited their arrival, and then taken to the police headquarters, where their statements were taken.

The case was reported to the prosecutor on duty, who gave instructions to keep the plane in police custody and the pilots kept under guard, as they were considered responsible for a drug trafficking crime.  As the investigation continues, the foreigners must remain in Honduras.

Read more here:

Mooney M20F Executive, N9524M: Search for pilot to resume in June -- Solvang resident went missing in December

A search for a missing Solvang pilot whose single-engine airplane apparently crashed near Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome will be resumed in June, park officials said. 

 Nicol Wilson’s 1966 Mooney M20F disappeared from radar Dec. 17 after he left Santa Ynez Airport headed for Mammoth Lakes Airport to join his family for a holiday celebration. Wilson, 66, was the only person aboard the aircraft.

Officials were able to discern the approximate location of the missing plane at the point where it was last detected by radar, but rescuers have been unable to reach the site because of bad weather. The location, which covers more than 600 square miles, remains cloaked in heavy snow.

A park spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle last year, “This is definitely like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is a very small plane, it is a single engine plane and it was white. The area they are looking in is completely covered in snow, so the chances of spotting the plane are going to be extremely hard. Also, with the sun being so low this time of the year, it has created shadows from some of the peaks making it difficult to see in the dark areas of those shadows.”

Story and Reaction/Comments:

NTSB Identification: WPR13FAMS1
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 17, 2012 in Yosemite Valley, CA
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N9524M
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 17, 2012, about 1230 Pacific standard time, a Mooney M20F airplane, N9524M, was reported overdue/missing near Yosemite Valley, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained unknown injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the personal flight. The flight originated from the Santa Ynez Airport (IZA), Santa Ynez, California, about 1025 with an intended destination of Mammoth Lakes, California. An emergency locator beacon signal has not been reported.

A family member of the pilot reported the airplane overdue to local law enforcement the evening of December 17, 2012, after becoming concerned when the pilot had not arrived at his intended destination. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT) for the missing airplane at 2309.