FITCHBURG (AP) — Authorities say the pilot of a single-engine plane that landed at Fitchburg Airport has been arrested after 74 pounds of marijuana and $77,000 in cash was found in three duffel bags inside the aircraft.

Hoang Nguyen, 31, of Hillsborough, Oregon, was charged Tuesday with trafficking marijuana and booked at the State Police Barracks in Leominster. He is to be arraigned in Fitchburg District Court on Wednesday.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton Reports

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and Homeland Security agents began monitoring the movements of Nguyen’s aircraft, which had departed from Santa Monica, Calif.

Investigators tracked to the plane to Morris County Airport in Grundy, Illinois, and then to Fitchburg Airport.

When the plane landed, a State Police dog then alerted authorities to the presence of a narcotic odor coming from inside the aircraft.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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