Tempe flight instructor accused of smuggling $2 million worth of cocaine

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Kansas Bureau of Investigation) (Source: Kansas Bureau of Investigation)
Ricardo Lopez, 26. (Source: Seward County Sheriff’s Office) Ricardo Lopez, 26. (Source: Seward County Sheriff’s Office)

[UPDATE TO ORIGINAL STORY: Judge drops all charges against Tempe Flight Instructor]


A Tempe flight instructor was accused of bringing $2 million worth of cocaine to an airport in Liberal, Kansas.

Patrick Williams, 51, of Tempe, and Ricardo Lopez, 26, were charged with distributing cocaine and conspiracy to commit distribution.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Seward County Sheriff's Office seized about 144 pounds of cocaine on a twin-engine airplane that landed at Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport on Wednesday, according to a news release from KBI. 

Authorities arrested Williams and Lopez.

The Department of Homeland Security and KBI had information that led them to believe a "suspicious aircraft" would be arriving at the airport, according to the news release.

The KBI and Seward County Sheriff’s Office also seized a Beechcraft Queen Air.

Bond for each man was set at $2 million.

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