HAMMOND, La. (BRPROUD) – Earlier this week, the Hammond Police Department Narcotics Unit received information that narcotics could be headed towards the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport.
HPD along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs Air and Marine Division initiated an investigation into this report.
Surveillance of the airport ensued with investigators looking for a plane coming from California.
According to the Hammond Police Department, “at approximately 5:00pm, a Learjet 55 landed and was attempting to purchase fuel.”
Detectives were given permission to look through the plane by the pilot.
HPD says, “during the search, detectives located six large canvas duffle bags and six large suitcases all containing suspected marijuana, marijuana vape cartridges and pre-rolled marijuana cigars. The street value of the items seized is approximately $750,000.”
Detectives estimate that all of the above items are valued around $750,000.
Further investigation led detectives to release the two pilots while the passenger in the plane was arrested at the airport.
Law enforcement identified 40-year-old Leonard Lopez, of Miami as the individual who was arrested.
HPD says, “the aircraft, a LearJet 55, was seized and is pending forfeiture through the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.”
In total, this arrest led to the acquisition of more than $1.6 million by law enforcement.