Saturday, January 20, 2018

Matthew Roesner and Paul Riggie: Police Seize 200 Pounds of Marijuana from Plane at Bradford County Airport (N27), Towanda, Pennsylvania

TOWANDA, BRADFORD COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Two hundred pounds of marijuana!

That is what state police say the found inside a plane that landed Wednesday night in the Northern Tier.

State police say two men were flying from California to Boston when they made a stop at the Bradford County Airport near Towanda.

That is where federal investigators caught up with them.

It is not unusual for people in the Towanda area to see planes landing at the Bradford County Airport but state police say what was found inside one plane Wednesday night was unusual, 200 pounds of marijuana.

"That's unusual! That's unusual! I think 200 (pounds) is more than enough for anybody to sell!" Susan Hadlock of Sayre said.

Matthew Roesner and Paul Riggie are now behind bars on drug charges.

Investigators say Roesner was flying the plane.

He told investigators that Riggie paid him $10,000 to fly across the country.

Roesner is a commercial airline pilot for Compass Airlines.

"There's his job, you know, his livelihood other than his second livelihood with the marijuana!" Michelle Miller of Herrickville said.

Customs and Border Protection agents started tracking the suspect's plane as it flew across the country.

Investigators say the plane didn't provide its travel itinerary and flew at an altitude inconsistent with federal standards.

"With all of the technology they have today they can do just about anything!" Frank Mucerino of Monroeton said.

Officials at the Bradford County Airport declined to comment on the situation. They would also not say where the suspect's plane currently is located.

In addition to the 200 pounds of marijuana, investigators say they also found cash and a .40-caliber pistol inside the plane.

Exactly why they stopped in Bradford County has not been disclosed but local residents say they're glad they were caught.

"They don't tolerate it too much around here!" Mucerino said.

Federal agents say Paul Riggie has a prior criminal history for selling marijuana and resisting arrest.

Both men are jailed tonight in lieu of $500,000 bail in Bradford County.

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TOWANDA, Pennsylvania (WENY) - Two West Coast men are behind bars in Bradford County after police allegedly found 200 pounds of marijuana on a plane they landed at the Bradford County Airport.

Customs and Border Protection were reportedly tracking the plane since take-off in California. 

Matthew Roesner and Paul Riggie were on that plane. 

K-9 units searched the plane shortly after it landed at the Bradford County Airport Wednesday evening. 

According to court documents, Pennsylvania State Police found 40 packages containing nearly 200 pounds of marijuana, a large amount of cash, a pistol, and additional ammo.

According to court documents, Roesner is a commercial pilot with Compass Airlines. He says Riggie paid him $10,000 to fly the plane from California to Boston.
Roesner and Riggie are both charged with Manufacture, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Delivery in Proceeds of Illegal Activities, and Use/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Both men are being held in the Bradford County Jail on $500,000 bail.

They're scheduled to reappear in court later this month.

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  1. Roesner appears also in this story, as a hired pilot for a charter:

    Looks like he may have just been paid and decided to look the other way. As PIC one is responsible of the kind of cargo being carried and it has to be with the FARs.

    Also with the qualifications he had I find it surprising he decided to do a flight that stuck out like a sore thumb amid all the air traffic in the NAS.

    Transporting controlled "meds" and illegal drugs is grounds for license revocation, no ifs or buts, and pretty career ending. Sad for a guy who has an ATP and CFI and several type ratings. I doubt the FAA will let him fly anything but a paper plane for the rest of his life.

  2. Just an update the 2 were sentenced 09/30 and 10/01 in 2018 and Matthew got 10-48 months in confinment and Riggie 21-60

    Both pled guildy to felonies of narcotics possession with intent to distribute.

    Matthew also had all his licenses and ratings revoked for life.

    I doubt the FAA will let him fly as much as an RC plane.