A pilot who landed at the Roswell International Air Center Nov. 25 because of mechanical problems with the plane he was flying soon was in a lot more trouble than that of a minor malfunction of the plane. The California man was arrested by Roswell police after almost 118 pounds of marijuana were found aboard the small private plane.
RPD was alerted to the plane’s presence at the local airport around 6:20 p.m. by special agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. When the plane made its emergency landing in Roswell, Federal Aviation Administration officials at the airport discovered the plane had no flight plan on file.
RPD personnel, including a representative of the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force, arrived at the air center, located the plane, a Beech J35, and spoke with the pilot, who was the only person aboard the plane for its flight. A smell of marijuana was detected coming from the plane and a search warrant was obtained. A search led to the discovery of 117.9 pounds of high-grade marijuana packaged in several large bags inside the plane, which has a registered owner of someone other than the pilot.
The pilot, Michael Armando Teixeira, 37, of Gilroy, Calif., initially claimed he was flying the plane from California to Texas to visit a friend. However, he had no luggage with him and did not know exactly what his destination in Texas was. Teixeira (pictured) later admitted knowledge of the marijuana being in the plane in order to be delivered to a location he was to be informed of later.
Teixeira was charged with distribution of controlled substances and booked into the Chaves County Detention Center. Federal authorities are assisting the Roswell Police Department with the investigation and the case will be presented for federal prosecution in the District of New Mexico.