A pilot and a passenger in an airplane that landed in Liberal last October carrying more than 114 pounds of cocaine have been sentenced to federal prison, authorities said.
The pilot, 40-year-old Dean Bryan Moya, was sentenced to five years in prison, and the passenger, 31-year-old Richard Allen Vickery, was sentenced to six years. Both men, who live in Hemet, Calif., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine.
According to court documents, Moya was the pilot of a Cessna 210 aircraft that landed Oct. 22 at Liberal Municipal Airport.
Moya had picked up Vickery and the cocaine in California. He was taking the drugs to Ohio for distribution. In his plea, Vickery admitted he was on board to shepherd the cocaine to Ohio for distribution.
Homeland Security's Air Marine Operations Center tracked the aircraft flying from northern New Mexico and notified the Liberal Police Department that Moya, the pilot, was flying even though his medical certificate had been revoked due to drug use.
At the Liberal airport, a drug-sniffing dog detected the presence of the narcotics.