Border jumper tossed bags out of plane before arrest at Langley 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 last Wednesday before being met by a host of police officers at the Langley Regional Airport.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Bellingham Air and Marine Branch detected an airplane entering American airspace on Nov. 20 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 planes and helicopters pursued the mysterious pilot north.

On the way, they saw him throw several bags out of the plane 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 airport.

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

He was arrested and his plane seized, as U.S. Customs helicopters hovered overhead.

“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 has a single runway and taxiway with no control tower, said G. Paul Wolf, who manages a host of small airports in Washington.

The airport is busiest in the summer when it is a staging point for smoke jumpers who fight fires, he said. It also has a self-serve fuel station.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

border agencycrimedrug smugglingirregular border crosserLangley RCMPRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER: Seniors challenge fellow pensioners to give $300 to charity

For those with a nice nest egg, one Langley couple suggests seniors give COVID money to a good cause

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Langley residents along the Fraser River asked to be on alert

Flooding along Lower Fraser River is possible as the water levels rise in the next week

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

LETTER: One man upset by Liberal party apologies

MLAs shouldn’t say sorry for advertising in Christian magazine that opposing transgender rights

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read