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Homeland Security agents arrest Kevin Golden on drug charges at airport

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Drug charges were filed in United States District Court against Kevin Dennis Golden on Jan. 7 related to his arrest at Lincoln Regional Airport on Dec. 14, according to a criminal complaint.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Golden, 37, on charges of attempting to distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Agents confiscated 45.84 kilograms of marijuana, which equates to 100.84 pounds. Golden was released from Placer County Jail on bond Dec. 15. A spokeswoman from Homeland Security said Golden is from the Sacramento area.

A court date for Golden has not yet been set, according to the United States District Court clerk’s office.

The pilot of the plane, James Hansen, has not been arrested, according to a Homeland Security spokeswoman who declined to give further details.

On Dec. 14, 2012 at Lincoln Regional Airport, Homeland Security agents found marijuana stuffed into three large, black suitcases and one smaller backpack loaded in the back of a Cessna 210 owned and piloted by James Hansen, according to the complaint. Agents saw Golden place the suitcases in the back of the plane, according to the complaint.

A flight plan was filed in Portland, Ore. for a flight from Portland to Lincoln on Dec. 14, 2012. Golden met Hansen at the Lincoln Airport in a SUV, according to the complaint.

Agents were tracking the movements of the Cessna since Dec. 3, according to the complaint. The plane had flown from Portland to Lincoln on Dec. 3 and Dec. 6, 2012.

“After looking at flight records, it was apparent that this plane had been repetitively flying back and forth from the West Coast to the East Coast approximately 10 times a year,” said Homeland Security Special Agent Kristopher Kashuba, who signed the United States District Court complaint. This included stops in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida and back to Arizona, California and Oregon.

“What made the activity suspicious is the pilot repeatedly changed his flight plan during various flights, which is not normal practice for pilots,” Kashuba wrote. “Pilots are not always mandated to file flight plans, but when they do, they usually follow that itinerary. Information from other cases involving narcotics trafficking via aircraft reveals this type of activity.”