- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PHOENIX (AP) - A Mexican man who was captured after flying an ultralight aircraft laden with bundles of marijuana into the U.S. has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison.

A federal judge in Phoenix sentenced 25-year-old Jesus Isaias Iriarte of Nogales to 33 months in prison on Tuesday.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix says the small plane Iriarte flew Oct. 8 was spotted just north of the border. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter followed the craft to a field near Marana (mah-RAN’-uh), just north of Tucson.

After Iriarte landed in the field he ran away but was captured. Agents found about 210 pounds of marijuana strapped onto the craft.

Iriarte pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana in December.

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