MEDFORD, Ore.– Two men involved a plane crash in a residential neighborhood of Medford over the weekend were arraigned on Monday for charges of drug trafficking.
Zachary Wayne Moore, 34, and Mathew William Thompson, 38, crashed a 1947 single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza on Whittle Avenue in Medford moments after taking off from the Rogue Valley International Airport. The two, listed as residents from Idaho, received minor injuries and managed to avoid hurting anyone else during the incident.
Investigators with MADGE and the newly formed Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team soon began to investigate the plane and charged the two men with trafficking marijuana, specifically marijuana extract not purchased from a licensed retailer.
The men are also being charged with recklessly endangering another person and Moore is being charged with unlawful possession of LSD, a Schedule I controlled substance.
It’s unknown where the men were flying at this time and Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators will be looking into the cause of the crash. The plane has since been moved to a secure location. FAA officials say it can take up to a year for investigators to find a probable cause for a crash.
Witnesses on-scene Saturday said the two men claimed the plane lost the fuel pump. FAA confirmed the pilot reported fuel issues prior to the crash.
A look into the FAA registry found that the Beechcraft had been deregistered after it had expired around the beginning of May. Thompson was described as the pilot by witnesses and the registry does list him as a certified pilot for private planes. It’s unknown whether or not the plane belonged to either him or Moore.
Bail has been set at $50,000 for both men and could face up to five years in prison or more if they’re found guilty of the drug trafficking charges. Their next scheduled court date is set for June 17.
*Article has been updated to reflect new information after video was published
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.