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Pilot with 20 Pounds of Pot Wanders Into President Obama’s Restricted Airspace

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

In a “d’oh!” moment of massive proportions, the pilot of a private plane wandered into protected airspace over Los Angeles on Thursday — an area temporarily restricted because President Obama happened to be in town.

When fighter jets were scrambled to escort it in for a landing, authorities found the plane was loaded with more than 20 pounds of marijuana.

Two F-16s under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) took off from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, CA and intercepted the Cessna around 11:30 a.m. PT. It landed without incident and was met by local law enforcement, who then discovered the plane’s illegal payload.

While Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said only that the aircraft was carrying “some type of narcotics,” a law enforcement official said the stash was actually 10 kilograms of what appeared to be marijuana. That’s the equivalent of roughly 22 pounds.

The unnamed pilot was deemed “of no protective interest,” meaning he wasn’t considered a threat, and was turned over to the Long Beach Police Department. The case is expected to be referred to state prosecutors.


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