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Pilot in pot plane crash to change his plea

Mail Tribune / file photo Pilot Mathew William Thompson is scheduled to enter a plea on felony drug charges that followed this June 8, 2019 plane crash on Whittle Avenue in Medford.
Mathew William Thompson

The pilot who crashed a plane in a Medford neighborhood in 2019 will change his plea for his role in an alleged drug trafficking case.

A February trial has been called off for Mathew William Thompson’s alleged role in a narcotics case blown wide open by the plane crash on Whittle Avenue.

The June 8, 2019, crash sparked drug investigations in Southern Oregon and Boise, Idaho, where Thompson lived with the plane’s passenger, Zachary Wayne Moore, at the time.

Boise police allegedly found equipment used to manufacture butane honey oil, a handgun and growing psychedelic mushrooms inside the home, according to earlier news reports.

The day of the crash, federal prosecutors allege, Thompson paid about $6,000 for roughly 4.3 pounds of the marijuana concentrate butane honey oil in Josephine County.

The aircraft, which had just been refueled in Medford, started having engine trouble after takeoff and crash landed.

Moore, who got his teeth knocked out but otherwise walked away from the crash, has since served 15 months in an Idaho prison, and was sentenced in Southern Oregon to time served and three years of supervised release after admitting to his role.

Thompson, 42, faces federal charges in U.S. District Court of possessing hash oil with intent to deliver the drug and a charge of operating an unregistered aircraft.

Thompson is also scheduled to stand trial Feb. 15, in Ada County District Court on a felony charge of manufacturing a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia surrounding the search of Thompson’s home following the crash.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.