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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 1, 2015

Reno Man Using Private Plane To Transport Marijuana Out Of State Sentenced To Two Years In Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Kevin Dennis Golden, 39, of Reno, Nevada, was sentenced today to two years in prison for possession with the intent to distribute approximately 88 pounds of marijuana that he was attempting to fly in a private plane to Pennsylvania, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on December 14, 2012, law enforcement agents went to the Lincoln airport as part of an investigation into a suspicious Cessna airplane that had been making frequent flights from California to the Midwest and East Coast. They observed that the plane had landed and saw the pilot go into the pilot’s lounge. Approximately an hour later, a vehicle drove up to the airplane. Golden got out of the vehicle, removed three black suitcases and a backpack from the vehicle and placed them inside the airplane. Golden then drove to a nearby parking lot, parked, and walked back to the airplane. Agents approached the pilot of the plane and told him of their intent to perform a ramp check in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. While conducting the ramp check, the three suitcases were seen inside the small aircraft.  After receiving consent to look inside the suitcases from Golden, the agents discovered multiple vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana. An additional bag of marijuana was found in the smaller backpack that also contained Golden’s identification. A total of 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of marijuana were taken out of the suitcases and backpack. Further evidence showed that Golden had taken two previous trips to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the aircraft to deliver marijuana.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner stated: “The use of private planes and small private airports to transport and distribute controlled substances is a known and continuing problem within the Eastern District of California.  Persons involved in such activity should understand that they face prison, large fines, and, in appropriate cases, forfeiture of vehicles and aircraft used to engage in such activity.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Lincoln Police Department and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

 

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Updated May 1, 2015