CALIFORNIAN, UTAHN ARE JAILED AFTER POT ON PLANE IS SEIZED
A Utah man and a California man who were arrested when they landed a single-engine airplane carrying an estimated 800 pounds of marijuana on a county road in Eddy County were being held Monday in Albuquerque.
Craig Clymore, 35, Los Angeles, and Glen Zacher, 39, Park City, were arrested Saturday morning when they landed a Cessna 206 on a road 12 miles northeast of Carlsbad, said Eddy County Sheriff Jack Childress.
Both men had an initial appearance Monday before U.S. Magistrate Sumner Buell in Albuquerque. Both were being held for investigation of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Childress said the arrest of Clymore and Zacher resulted from an investigation into drug smuggling activity in the Carlsbad area that began on Christmas Eve of 1990.
Childress described Clymore and Zacher as “major players” in a marijuana operation that Childress said involved the smuggling of an estimated 3,000 pounds a week into the United States.
The sheriff said the 800 pounds confiscated in Saturday’s arrests apparently had originated
somewhere in Mexico. Childress placed a street value of about $1.2 million on the marijuana.
Childress said Clymore also was facing charges in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, in a $1 million money laundering case.
That airplane that landed on a road in New Mexico back in 1991 was a Cessna TU-206 that Fulano sold to Craig Clymore the year before. And therein lies an interesting story.
Fulano used to have a ski condo up in Park City, Utah. He would knock off work on Friday and fly up there from Los Angeles during ski season. He liked the Cessna 206 as it could hold a lot of people and baggage; 6 people and all the baggage that would fit. Since the engine was turbocharged, it would develop its full rated horsepower even at high elevation airports. This particular Cessna 206 had an external baggage pod mounted on the belly. One could put skis in there, and not have to lay them on passengers shoulders in the cabin.
However, there was one drawback. The plane was not equipped to fly in known icing, and that was sometimes a problem. Fulano had to be back at work in Los Angeles on Monday morning, and in the winter storms would come through Utah on a very regular basis. So, Fulano decided to sell the 206 and move up.
In the summer of 1990, Fulano placed an ad in Trade-A-Plane that the 206 was for sale. In a matter of days he received a call from somebody who was interested. Fulano arranged to meet him at the airport. At the airport, Fulano met a nice looking young man in his mid-30’s, along with his wife and his young son. They arrived in one of those Volkswagon camper vans, with a pop-up roof and a bike rack full of bicycles on the back. The young man said he was from Utah.
A deal was struck and the nice young man gave Fulano a cashier’s check for the full purchase price of the airplane. Fulano handed the keys, logbooks and bill of sale to him. And that was the end of that, as far as Fulano knew.
About a year later, two RCMP detectives called on Fulano. They needed his help. They told Fulano the story of the young man and the crashed Cessna 206 on a highway in New Mexico. It turns out this nice young man was a major drug dealer and he was laundering and hiding his money in Canadian banks. Canada had just implemented the drug assets forfeiture law, like they have in the United States. Any money, or assets purchased with drug money, can be forfeited to the government. But there first has to be a trial. In Canada, as in the US, the laws require due process before relieving somebody of their assets. The case of Craig Clymore was the very first drug money laundering case to come to trial in Canada.
In order to prove up its case and seize the money in Clymore’s Canadian bank accounts, Crown prosecutors have to connect Craig Clymore as the owner of the Cessna 206 that crashed in New Mexico. Fulano was the key witness in the case. Clymore had altered the N-number of the C-206. The RCMP detectives were elated to find out that Fulano had several pictures of that airplane and gave them to the detectives as evidence. A few months later, Fulano got an all-expenses paid vacation in Kelowna, British Columbia as a quest of the government of Canada. Just as a side note, being that Fulano is a citizen and resident of the US, Canada had no power to subpoena me as witness to appear in Canada, so Fulano volunteered to go.
At the trial, Fulano’s testimony did not last very long, maybe 20 minutes. It went something like this:
Crown: Is this the man you sold the airplane to?
Fulano: (Looking at picture.) Yes.
Crown: Is this the airplane you sold?
Fulano: (Looking at picture of his once pristine C-206 laying on its belly in the New Mexico desert) Yes.
Crown: How do you know this is the airplane you sold?
Fulano: Well, do you see that long wave antenna for the direction finder? I installed that. Do you see that GPS in the panel? I installed that. Do you see those special pick-proof key locks for the doors? I installed them.
Crown: Did you ever enter any waypoints inside Mexico into the GPS?
Crown: No further questions.
Cross-examination by Clymore’s defense attorney:
Q: Do you recognize these black marks on the fuselage here?
Fulano: No sir. Those look like fingerprint dusting marks from the detectives who examined the aircraft after it crashed.
Q: No further questions.
Fulano later learned that Canada won the case and seized Clymore’s Canadian bank accounts. Fulano also received a letter of commendation from the RCMP thanking him for his contributions. Craig Clymore later confessed to his crimes and received a sentence of 10-years in prison. But that is not all, Clymore has a most interesting life. It turns out he was held hostage for 13-days in Damascus, Syria on a hijacked Pakistani airliner back in 1981. All of this happened while he was under indictment in the US for other drug-smuggling charges.
U.S. AIDES IN SYRIA ARE REPORTED TO SEIZE FORMER PLANE HOSTAGES
Published: April 2, 1981
Newport Beach,Calif., April 1 (AP) Craig Clymore, the hostage in the hijacking of a Pakustani airliner who had been indicted in the United States on drug-smuggling charges, has been taken into custody again in Syria by State Department officials, according to Ron Kreber, his lawyer.
A spokesman for Mr. Kreber said yesterday that Mr. Clymore, 24 years old, of Laguna Beach, had been seized shortly before he was to board a flight home with Mr. Kreber.
Under an agreement worked out with United States officials, the spokesman said, Mr. Kreber was to escort Mr. Clymore from Damascus to Los Angeles, where he would meet with his family before being arrested again.
Craig Clymore is out of jail now and living in Southern California. Fulano’s research shows he seems to spend a lot of his time filing pro se appeals with various federal courts trying to overturn the forfeitures of his money and other assets, based on various weak and nebulous legal theories. So far he has been unsuccessful. This is what he looks like today.
Here is a link to one of Clymore’s numerous court appeals. Craig Clymore v. United States.