Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Two people face federal drug trafficking charges after allegedly transporting 260 pounds of marijuana on a private jet from California to Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), Orange County, Florida

Chayla Archambault

ORLANDO, Florida  - Two people face federal drug trafficking charges after allegedly transporting 260 pounds of marijuana on a private jet from California to Orlando, officials said.

Agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported that a confidential informant tipped them off that the jet was on its way.

They were at Orlando Executive Airport when the jet touched down and said they observed two individuals load luggage into an SUV before driving away.

The SUV was tracked from the air by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as it drove on State Road 408.

When deputies tried to pull it over for speeding in a construction zone, the SUV sped up and exited the highway, before ultimately crashing, investigators said.

Cesar Martins was ejected from the SUV and Chayla Archambault was trapped inside, a federal criminal complaint said.

When deputies arrived at the crash scene, they reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana and found 260 pounds of marijuana packed in airtight plastic inside the wrecked vehicle.

Martins and Archambault were not seriously injured in the crash, officials said.

Archambault told investigators that she was flying back after visiting the wine country in California and did not know what was inside the luggage, the federal complaint said.

Federal agents did not buy her story, though, and Archambault and Martins were both arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Archambault has since been released from custody, but no one answered when Channel 9 went to the Clermont home where she listed as staying.

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Federal agents who were investigating a drug trafficking tip found 260 pounds of marijuana when the vehicle they were following crashed on Interstate 4 in Orange County, bringing a high-speed chase to an end.

The investigation began when an agent from the Department of Homeland Security received a tip that an aircraft landing at Orlando Executive Airport around 1 a.m. Monday might be transporting narcotics, according to a criminal complaint.

Agents arrived at the airport before the plane landed from Sonoma, Calif., and watched as an unidentified man, Chayla Archambault and an unidentified woman removed several suitcases and load them into an Infiniti SUV, the report said.

After the suitcases were loaded in the vehicle, Archambault got in the driver's seat and Cesar Martins, the man who drove the SUV to the airport, got into the passenger's seat. They left the airport at the same time as a red Jeep that had parked near the aircraft, agents said.

Authorities watched as both vehicles were driven onto westbound Sate Road 408, then I-4. An Orange County deputy who was assisting with surveillance attempted to pull the Infiniti over for speeding in a construction zone, but the vehicle continued to speed, according to the criminal complaint.

Agents said the high-speed pursuit ended when the SUV crashed near Kirkman Road, ejecting Martins from the passenger seat and trapping Archambault in the driver's seat.

After the suspects were rescued from the crash, authorities said they found several pieces of luggage containing 260 pounds worth of packaged marijuana.

Archambault and Martins were arrested after being treated for their crash-related injuries. 

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