The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

October 27, 2012

Hearing set for alleged pot plane pilot

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — An arraignment hearing is scheduled this week for a California man, charged with allegedly dumping bags full of marijuana on locations across Hunt County.

Darin William Fayne was alleged to have flown a plane filled with marijuana across North Texas before the aircraft ran out of gas near Caddo Mills.

Fayne was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in September with one count of possession of marijuana in an amount of between 50 and 2,000 pounds.

Fayne is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning during a hearing in the 354th District Court.

Fayne, 46, of Coarsegold, California, is free on bond after being arrested two years ago and charged with one count each of possession of marijuana and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant. The status of the second charge, alleging Fayne attacked federal officers, is unknown.

Six duffel bags believed connected to a plane abandoned early the morning of July 19, 2010 at the Caddo Mills Municipal Airport have been recovered. The street value of the more than 200 pounds of hydroponic marijuana has been estimated at up to $1.5 million.

The assault charge involves an incident at Majors Field Municipal Airport in Greenville the same morning.

Fayne’s aircraft had been followed by federal agents across the southwestern United States. According to statements by the Air Marines, their aircraft landed and was stationary on the runway at Majors.

An armed, uniformed federal agent deboarded and attempted to approach the Cherokee 140 aircraft believed piloted by Fayne. Fayne’s aircraft was reported to have accelerated directly at the agent and the Air Marine plane, with the wing of the suspect plane moving directly underneath the Air Marine plane.