BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Three men were arrested and nearly 72 pounds (about 32 kilos) of cocaine was seized at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport Tuesday. The plane with the cocaine was scheduled to go to Atlanta, Georgia. The cocaine has a street value of just under $1 million.
Louisiana State Police were notified by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that an aircraft that originated near the Texas/Mexico border was to land and refuel at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport Tuesday. Officials believed there was suspicious activity with the flight.
The Beechcraft 58P twin engine airplane was met at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport by ICE agents.
The plane was occupied by the pilot and three passengers. Vincenzo Salzano, 55, identified himself as the co-owner of the plane. After officials obtained verbal consent to search the plane from Salzano, 71.8 pounds of cocaine was discovered.
The pilot was hired by Mohammad Nekouie, 32, who is Salzano's son-in-law, to fly them along with Armondo Salzano, 32, who is Vincenzo's son, from McAllen, TX to Atlanta, GA. The pilot was not arrested.
All three are from Colorado.
All three were charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. They are being held on a $1 million bond.
The flight was supposed to continue on to Atlanta, GA after refueling in Baton Rouge.