Man lands at Washington state airport without permission, flies away when approached by agents

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A man was arrested last week after he landed his airplane in Washington state without permission, then flew away when approached by agents while throwing bags out of his plane into the wilderness.

According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the incident occurred when agents from the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch detected the airplane enter the U.S. and land at the Methow Valley Airport in Winthrop.

When agents approached the pilot to question him, he jumped into his airplane and flew away.

Agents pursued the airplane in helicopters and watched as the the pilot threw several bags out of the airplane into the wilderness.

As the airplane approached Canada, CBP received permission to continue the pursuit across the border. The CBP helicopters followed the airplane to the Langley, British Columbia, Airport, where the airplane landed.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Federal Border Enforcement Team and other agencies arrested the man and seized the airplane. CBP’s helicopters remained in an over watch position during the arrest.

“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, 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.”