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Homeland Security: 300 pounds of cocaine found after plane's unauthorized landing

Two Canadian men were arrested after a plane they were on was found to be carrying 300 pounds of cocaine. (Courtesy Homeland Security Investigations)

Three hundred pounds of cocaine were found aboard a plane that made an unscheduled landing Thursday at the Ohio University Airport, according to Homeland Security Investigations.

Authorities also say two Canadian citizens on board the plane were arrested. Sylvain Desjardins and David Ayotte were charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Records show both had prior convictions for drugs in Canada. Desjardins and Ayotte were scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon.

Court records explain U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations in California detected the plane in the Bahamas with a flight plan to Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

The plane diverted off course to Gordon K. Bush Airport at Ohio University, which is not a Port of Entry. Police said the pilot alleged to have mechanical issues.


Aviation records show the plane had made recent flights over American airspace while travelling between Canada and the Bahamas.

Desjardine was the pilot and Ayotte was the passenger and both were detained by local police until federal agents arrived, court records show.

Court documents explain during the search of the plane, 132 bundles were in the tail and three packages opened were found to contain cocaine.

Because the OU airport is not a point of entry, Customs and Border Protection asked local authorities to detain all the occupants until federal agents could respond, officials said.

Homeland Security Investigations assumed control of the investigation, but will work with local law enforcement on the follow up.

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