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Convicted Drug Smuggler's Plane Will be Auctioned

James Handzus flew one pound of crystal meth to Wings Field in April 2011.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office released the following information:
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announces the successful forfeiture of a 1959 Piper Fixed-Wing Aircraft. On Wednesday, April 18, a forfeiture hearing was held before the Honorable Gerald Corso regarding the plane, which was seized at Wings Field on April 22, 2011, when the pilot, James Handzus, was arrested while engaging in the sale of one pound of crystal methamphetamine to an undercover detective.

Handzus was previously convicted after a trial in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas for drug law violations in connection with this incident.  Handzus is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, April 24. 

Assistant District Attorney James Staerk, head of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Forfeiture Unit, argued to the court that Handzus flew his aircraft from his hometown of Rifle, CO, to Las Vegas, NV, where he obtained the methamphetamine. Staerk stated the facts of the case proved Handzus flew the pound of methamphetamine from Las Vegas to Wings Field, arriving there on April 21, 2011. 

In arguing for the forfeiture of the aircraft, which was named “My Lady,” ADA Staerk stated, “It is time for Mr. Handzus to kiss ‘his lady’ goodbye.” 

A Times Herald article stated that "county officials plan to auction or sell the plane, in conjunction with a bank that has a lien on the plane. The proceeds will be used to pay off the lien, estimated at $16,000, and any excess will be used by the county to pay for future drug investigations, officials said."

Read the full article here.

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