Charges against Tempe man in drug smuggling case dropped

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The charges against a Tempe flight instructor in a drug smuggling case have been dropped. Patrick Williams, 51, was arrested in Kansas back in May after police found 144 pounds of cocaine on a plane he was piloting.

Another man, Ricardo Lopez, 26, was aboard the plane at the time. Williams says he was giving Lopez a flight lesson and that the drugs were found in Lopez's bags. 

[ORIGINAL STORY: Tempe flight instructor accused of smuggling $2 million worth of cocaine]

The men were stopped when they flew into an airport in Liberal, Kansas. The Department of Homeland Security and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) had information that led them to believe a "suspicious aircraft" would be arriving at the airport, according to the news release.

The plane was searched and officials found 144 pounds of cocaine in what Williams says were Lopez's bags. Both men were arrested on charges of distributing cocaine and conspiracy to commit distribution. 

Williams told officials he had no idea the drugs were aboard the plane. The Seward County Attorney in Kansas confirmed that all charges against Williams have been dropped. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.