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Tip from feds leads to major drug bust at Hernando airport

Published Mar. 8, 2017

BROOKSVILLE — Federal agents and sheriff's deputies seized nearly 200 pounds of marijuana last week inside a hangar at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security alerted the Hernando County Sheriff's Office on the night of Feb. 27 to be on the lookout for a Beechcraft Baron twin-engine airplane that was "acting very suspiciously," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said.

Once deputies received a search warrant for the hangar and the plane, they found 197 pounds of the drug, wrapped in eight large plastic bags, inside the plane. The drugs had a street value north of $300,000, the sheriff said. When deputies arrived at the hangar, they met two men, Joshua Dean Overton, 32, of St. Petersburg, who detectives believe owns the plane and rented the hangar within the last two months, and Aaron Milo Andrus, 38, of Chico, Calif. Before the search warrant was executed, deputies had no reason to hold the men, who were permitted to leave. Now they're both wanted on charges of marijuana trafficking, possession of a conveyance for trafficking and possession of paraphernalia. Once they are apprehended, their bail will be set at $41,000 each, Nienhuis said.

Investigators believe the plane, which they seized, along with a Ford F-150 pickup, left California with the marijuana. Neither of the men had criminal records, Nienhuis said, and it appeared to be the first time they had flown marijuana into the county.