Plane crash occupants arrested
The pilot and passenger of a private airplane that crashed in a Medford neighborhood Saturday afternoon are in jail facing marijuana trafficking charges, Medford police confirmed Sunday evening.
Zachary Wayne Moore, 34, and Matthew William Thompson, 38, are lodged in the Jackson County Jail on felony charges of importing or exporting marijuana items and unlawful marijuana possession; Moore is also charged with possession of a schedule I substance.
Moore was lodged in the jail on $35,000 bail. Thompson’s bail is set at $15,000.
Sgt. Steve Furst with MPD said that Thompson was piloting the plane, a 1947 Beech 35 aircraft with an expired registration.
He said criminal and federal drug investigation is ongoing and he could not comment on whether additional charges would be added.
Thompson and Moore, both residents of Boise, Idaho, crashed into a tree in the 2300 block of Whittle Ave. in east Medford at 1:56 p.m. Saturday, according to Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon and Federal Aviation Administration records.
An initial release from Medford police Saturday said that the plane encountered mechanical issues shortly after leaving the Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford.
The crash prompted road closures through the afternoon and evening.
Thompson and Moore were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries prior to their arrest, Furst said.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.