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Pilot Gets Prison Time For Transporting Marijuana


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A former flight-school operator will spend 18 months in prison for flying 100 pounds of marijuana into Brainard Airport last spring in his private plane.

Louis Luyten, 69, of Glastonbury was sentenced Friday in Hartford Superior Court to seven years in prison, suspended after 18 months served, for conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.

He was convicted in a December plea deal, agreeing to forfeit his airplane and $18,000 in cash seized from his home after his May 2006 arrest. He has no previous criminal history.

Acting on a tip, Hartford police arrested Luyten just outside the airport's grounds and found the marijuana in a duffel bag in his vehicle. Prosecutors say he transported the marijuana from Canada in his plane.

``It's outrageous behavior from someone who should know better,'' Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Miano told Luyten during Friday's sentencing, where Luyten also was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine.

Luyten, a native of Belgium who spent about 20 years in that country's air defense, was apologetic and said he takes full responsibility for his actions.

``I made a terrible mistake,'' he said.

Source: 1010 WINS
Copyright: 2006 CBS Radio Inc
Website: 1010 WINS
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