A man was arrested at the Hale County Airport on Thursday and was accused of transporting approximately 140 pounds of marijuana from California, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
Around 2:20 p.m. Thursday, a Homeland Security special agent was inspecting pilot certificates and spoke with pilot Maksim Mironov, 32.
According to a criminal affidavit, Mironov was “acting visibly nervous” and had large duffel dags aboard the small aircraft.
The special agent wrote that it is common for drug traffickers to smuggle narcotics in bags on similar aircraft.
When asked what was in the duffel bags, Mironov said it was his equipment, according to the affidavit.
A K-9 officer was brought to detect the presence of drugs, the affidavit said, after Mironov did not give consent for the agent to search the plane.
The K-9 indicated narcotics were in the cargo area of the plane, according to the affidavit.
When agents searched the plane, they found five bags with 125 individual bags of marijuana.
The bags contained more than 143 pounds of marijuana, the affidavit said, and Mironov admitted to knowing the drugs were on board.
He also admitted he was transporting the marijuana from California to Birmingham, Alabama. Mironov told agents he landed in Hale County to refuel.
On Friday evening, Mironov was listed in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a federal hold.