Border jumper tossed bags out of plane before arrest at B.C. airport

U.S. Customs and the RCMP worked to catch the suspect

A border hopper in a small aircraft was chased back into Canada by U.S. border patrol agents before being met by Langley RCMP and the ERT at the Langley Regional Airport last Wednesday.

On Nov. 20, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Bellingham Air and Marine Branch detected an airplane entering American airspace and landing at the Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop, a tiny town of a few hundred people in Washington State, roughly southwest of Osoyoos.

According to U.S. Customs, when agents approached the pilot to question him, “he jumped into his airplane and flew away.”

Agents in airplanes and helicopters pursued the mysterious pilot all the way back to the Canadian border.

On the way, they observed the pilot throw several bags out of the airplane and into the wilderness below.

U.S. Customs received permission to keep chasing the suspect across the 49th parallel and into Canada, where they followed the plane to the Langley Regional Airport.

The pilot was met on the ground by the RCMP Federal Border Enforcement Team, the Emergency Response Team, RCMP Air Services (which flies helicopters out of Langley Airport) and the Langley RCMP.

The man was arrested and his plane seized.

U.S. Customs helicopters remained in the sky during the arrest.

“Due to the exceptional skills of our pilots and air interdiction agents, we were able to ensure that this man did not escape arrest,” said Jeremy Thompson, director of the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch. “Additionally, our partnerships and coordination with Canadian law enforcement agencies played a crucial role in the arrest of this man.”

The Methow Valley Airport is a single runway and taxiway with no control tower.

“It’s an unmanned and uncontrolled airport,” said manager G. Paul Wolf, who manages a host of small airports in Washington.

The airport sees its biggest use in the summer, when it is a staging point for smoke jumpers fighting fires in the state, said Wolf.

There is a self-serve aviation fuel station at the airport.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria resident accuses BC Transit of repeated discrimination since transitioning to a wheelchair

Daniel Sands says they are often not allowed on buses, even when there is room

Residents concerned land sale could threaten south Island water supply

Sale will allow for the subdivision and development of forestry lands in Shirley, west of Sooke

Island author talks about his book ‘The Blue Haired Girl’

Adam Hayes sat down with North Island Gazette Editor Tyson Whitney for an interview about the book.

Kwigwatsi Studio a labour of love for Comox Valley couple

The studio is at 3250 Comox Road and overlooks the Bighouse and K’omoks First Nation Band Office.

Island filmmaker receives funds to produce web series pilot

Chukwumuobi Obasi was awarded the funds through Telus Storyhive’s Web Series Edition

Apartment residents evacuated due to fire near downtown Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to structure fire on Prideaux Street Saturday afternoon

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

Woman arrested after police pursuit, alleged abduction at Island elementary school

Two police officers were injured and one police vehicle damaged

Nanaimo Fire Rescue lauds boys after rescue from cliffs

Nanaimo firefighters responded to call near Departure Bay Road Saturday afternoon

Workers at auto dealerships in Nanaimo and Victoria set up picket lines

Sixty GAIN Group detailers, technicians, service advisors went on strike Friday

Apartment residents evacuated due to fire near downtown Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to structure fire on Prideaux Street Saturday afternoon

Smoke from motorhome fire seen all over Port Alberni

Space heater left inside thought to be cause of fire

Palestinians in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism

BETHLEHEM, Palestinian Territory — For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched… Continue reading

Students coming up with signature VIU chocolate

Blind taste testing this week part of chocolate recipe competition

Most Read