Cannabis Delivery Flights Gets California Pilot Permanently Grounded, South Carolina Man Busted For Launching Weed Over Prison Wall

Benzinga – by Maureen Meehan, Benzinga Editor.

What some people won’t do to get marijuana from one place to another.

An Oakland man was indicted in Richmond, Va. on federal charges that he used his private Cessna to personally fly hundreds of pounds of cannabis across the country. His rides came to an end when his Virginia-based partner turned on him.

The unnamed informant, reported Mercury News, oversaw weekly clandestine cannabis sales in Virginia, where cannabis has been legal for three years but the commercial market is not. The informant paid the pilot, Quentin Helgren, at least $15,000 per trip to fly some 85 to 120 pounds of marijuana each week from California to Virginia.

The weed flights went on throughout 2023 until this past January when the DEA raided the informer’s Virginia warehouse and found hundreds of pounds of marijuana. This apparently compelled the Virginia weed dealer to cooperate with the authorities and flip on his courier Helgren.

The DEA found cellphone data and hotel records that further established Helgren was flying cannabis between Oakland and Virginia.

Indicted in late May by a federal grand jury in Virginia for distributing marijuana, Helgren faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Federal prosecutors also filed a petition to seize his 1978 Cessna as part of the criminal prosecution under asset forfeiture laws.

South Carolina Man Busted For Lobbing Weed Over Prison Wall

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a former inmate was arrested after lobbing cannabis and hash over the wall of a state prison with a “large launching device.”

Ronnie Ricardo Wells, 40, was stopped last week as he sped away from the Ridgeland Correctional facility, reported WIS News 10. When the cops searched his car, they found the launching device, packages of cannabis and hash as well as a handgun. An arrest warrant from the South Carolina Department of Corrections Division accused Wells of tossing the packages of marijuana over the fence around the prison.

A Corrections Department document noted that the Ridgeland prison’s contraband team had recovered the package and gave a description of Wells to local authorities.

Now read: ‘Unscrupulous’ Practices Going On In New York, Say State Senators About $150M Loan For Beleaguered Cannabis Program

Photo: Courtesy of Kindel Media by Pexels

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