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Press Release

Utah Pilot Pleads Guilty In Marijuana Trafficking Scheme That Ended In New Castle

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A resident of the State of Utah has pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to a charge of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Ken Barton Burrows, 54, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.

According to information presented to the court, Burrows was recruited to fly a plane loaded with approximately 242 pounds of marijuana from Woodland Airport in Northern California to the East Coast. Customs and border patrol agents apprehended him when he landed at the New Castle municipal airport.

Judge McVerry scheduled the sentencing for Feb. 20, 2015, at 9 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 5 years and up to 40 years, a fine of $5,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine, along with the Union and Mahoning Township Police Departments and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to prosecution of Burrows.

Updated July 14, 2015