Passenger to enter plea in Medford pot plane crash
A man who walked away from a plane crash in a Medford neighborhood last summer is scheduled to enter a plea in federal court on charges he possessed more than five pounds of concentrated marijuana extract at the time.
Zachary Wayne Moore, 36, of Idaho, who was a passenger in the plane, is expected to plead July 24 in U.S. District Court in Eugene to a charge of possessing large quantities of hashish oil with intent to distribute the drug.
The case began when a Beech 35 Bonanza airplane crashed into a tree in front of a house in the 2300 block of Whittle Avenue in Medford June 8, 2019. Moore and pilot Mathew William Thompson, 39, sustained minor injuries in the crash.
Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force detectives had been conducting surveillance on the plane when the crash occurred, according to a newsletter issued last fall by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area chapter.
MADGE seized 5.65 pounds of butane honey oil from the plane, along with 10 doses of LSD that allegedly belonged to Moore.
Moore is currently an inmate at Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino, Idaho Department of Correction records show. Moore pleaded guilty Oct. 7 in Ada County, Idaho, District Court to a charge of possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver stemming from a Boise police raid, which followed the plane crash, at the home he shared with Thompson in Boise.
Moore’s sentence ends July 17, 2024, but prison records show he could be eligible for parole as soon as Saturday.
Thompson pleaded not guilty to a felony count of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, and a misdemeanor charge of using or intending to use drug paraphernalia in his possession.
Thompson is out of jail on $30,000 bond, Idaho court records show, and a four-day jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021, in Ada County District Court.
Thompson is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 29 in U.S. District Court in Medford for possessing hashish oil with intent to distribute the drug, along with operating an unregistered aircraft, records show.
Possession with intent to distribute carries penalties of imprisonment for up to five years and fines of up to $250,000, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Operating an unregistered aircraft in furtherance of a drug crime carries a penalty of five years in prison “consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed,” filings in Thompson and Moore’s cases show.