AIN has confirmed that Franklin Rodriguez, the U.S. Air National Guard pilot arrested April 12 for smuggling the so-called love drug Ecstasy into the U.S. aboard a C-5A Galaxy, was a Beechjet captain at that time for Flight Options. The fractional provider declined comment, citing employee-employer confidentiality.
According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials, Rodriguez, 35, and loadmaster John Fong, 36, were found to be carrying some 290,000 Ecstasy pills–worth an estimated $11.6 million on the street–in their luggage after conducting a military mission from Germany to Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. The two men admitted to law enforcement officers that they had transported Ecstasy on previous military flights. The DEA found a “large sum of cash” in Rodriguez’s Bronx apartment and is investigating whether the pilot transported Ecstasy while flying any civilian aircraft.