Barack Obama, the Secret Service, and 'the plane full of cannabis'
Published 17/02/2012 | 07:17
A LIGHT aircraft that strayed into the path of President Barack Obama's helicopter was reportedly found to be packed with cannabis after it was intercepted by US fighter jets.
A pair of F-16s were scrambled to divert the Cessna aircraft after it entered the airspace of Marine One, the military helicopter ferrying the American president during a trip to California.
The small plane was forced to land at Long Beach airport, just south of Los Angeles at around 11am, where it was met by police.
A search of the aircraft uncovered 640 ounces of cannabis, the Associated Press reported, a motherlode worth around $160,000 (€121,000).
The unfortunate pilot and at least one passenger were handed to over to local police after being interviewed by US federal agents. The pilot has not been identified and it is not known whether they have been charged with any crime.
The US Secret service said Mr Obama was never in any danger during the incident.
A spokesman said: "I can confirm that a plane entered the airspace of Marine One, the restricted airspace, and then was landed at Long Beach airport.
"The occupants were held by local authorities until agents could respond to interview them, and it was determined that there was no protective interest."
The president was on the West Coast for a string of fundraising events ahead of November's election.