A Florida man was charged with trespassing in an airport, grand theft, drug possession and possessing drug paraphernalia after a bizarre series of events unfolded in Volusia County on June 20. The man allegedly told New Smyrna Beach Police Department officers that he owned a medical marijuana dispensary in California and purchased the plane he is accused of trying to steal for 20,000. Police reports indicate that he is being held at the Volusia County Jail on a $30,500 bond.
The events that led to the man’s arrest began when police investigating a stolen vehicle report at the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport were flagged down by a man. The man, who claimed to be the owner of the stolen vehicle, told officers that an unidentified individual offered him $1,000 and then got out of his truck leaving a cellphone, marijuana grinder and a digital scale behind. While this was going on, a flight instructor told a different officer that he had seen an individual in a part of the airport not accessible to the public.
Police say that they found the man, who allegedly asked to be told how to fly a plane, sitting in the co-pilot’s seat. He was taken into custody after trying to escape through one of the plane’s emergency exit windows according to reports. A search of the man’s person, duffel bag and belongings is said to have led to the discovery of a glass pipe that was later found to contain methamphetamine residue and about 500 grams of marijuana.
When their clients have behaved in ways that are difficult to explain, experienced criminal defense attorneys may call on specialists to determine whether or not they understand the situation they are in and are competent to stand trial. If psychiatric examinations reveal an undiagnosed mental health condition, attorneys could mount a diminished capacity defense to drug charges.