Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beech 58P Baron, N4618M

Vincent Salzano, left, and Armando Salzano were sentenced Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in federal court in downtown Baton Rouge after officals say they were caught in October 2013 trying to transport 70 pounds of cocaine on a small airplane, stopping in Baton Rouge to refuel.
 (East Baton Rouge Parish Jail)

 Baton Rouge Police officer Luke Cowart and K9 Roux assisted in the search of the plane and found 10 kilos of cocaine, which hadn't been located in the initial search.

A father and son arrested in Baton Rouge last year while trying to transport more than 70 pounds of cocaine on a small, private airplane were sentenced December 17th, 2014 in federal court to serve a total of seven years in prison.

Officials say the men, Vincent Salzano, 57, and Armando Salzano, 33, both of Denver, were caught with the drugs while fueling up at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport on their way to transport 30 packaged bundles (72 pounds) of cocaine to Atlanta from McAllen, Texas.

The pair was convicted of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The elder Salzano was sentenced at the federal courthouse in Baton Rouge to five years in prison, with another three years on supervised release and a $5,000 fine, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Walt Green's Office. The son was sentenced to four years in prison, two years of supervised release and a $30,000 fine.

Both were also ordered to forfeit any and all property used to commit the offense, presumably including the Beechcraft 58P Baron they touched down in Louisiana. 

A third passenger, Mohammad Nekouie, was initially arrested in the case, as well. But charges against him were later dropped. Nekouie is Vincent Salzano's son-in-law.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reportedly notified Louisiana State Police prior to the arrests that an aircraft with a suspicious flight pattern was going to land at the airport. Officials met the plane when it landed, searched the plane and discovered 71.8 pounds of cocaine, according to records. 

At the time of the incident, the Baton Rouge Police Department said Officer Luke Cowart and K9 officer Roux assisted in the search, finding 10 kilos, or about 22 pounds of the cocaine, which hadn't been located in the initial search.

The indictment says on October 8th, the elder Salzano met with "other individuals" and boarded his private plane to Atlanta. The following day, he allegedly flew from Atlanta to the McAllen area, where he deplaned, left the airport and obtained the drug bundles. He and "another individual " boarded the plane and intended to fly back to Atlanta but were arrested upon refueling in at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. 

McAllen is located on the western side of the southern tip of Texas and shares a small border with Mexico.

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