NEW HAVEN, CT. (AP) – A pilot from Connecticut has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his role in a marijuana trafficking operation that made millions of dollars by moving about two tons of pot across the country in a small plane, federal prosecutors said.

Donald Burns, 62, of Milford, was also sentenced Tuesday in federal court in New Haven to two years of probation.

The Federal Aviation Administration in 2016 began investigating a single-engine aircraft owned by Burns that was making regular flights between Stratford, Connecticut and northern California via the southwest U.S., prosecutors said.

Authorities who searched the plane after one of those trips in June 2017 found about 400 pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed packages on board, authorities said.

Investigators determined the marijuana was then distributed by three Connecticut residents, prosecutors said.

The defendants earned millions of dollars by moving nearly two tons of marijuana from California to Connecticut over about two years, according to the office of U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham.

Burns pleaded guilty last May and as part of the agreement agreed to forfeit his plane.

The three other man have previously been sentenced.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

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