1979 Pot Plane Crash
Charleston, West Virginia, has had many instances of drug abuse and crime in relation to drugs in its past, but in 1979 a plane crash took the spotlight as one of the wildest smuggling attempts ever in state history. A Douglas DC-6 flying to Kanawha Airport (now Yeagar Airport) filled with 12 tons of marijuana touched down momentarily only to lift off again in a failed attempt to regain altitude. The plane lost control and crashed off the runway, and pieces of plane and its cargo littered to area of Keystone drive and the hillside adjacent to the runway.
Backstory and Context
Throughout the investigation into this accident multiple arrests were made, including a future Oscar winning documentary film director. Two police officers were under suspicion of acting as lookouts during the caper but were eventually found innocent. A number of individuals suspected of bankrolling the operation were also brought up on charges. however, as the trials drew on many were convicted of other crimes or died. After months of litigation the plane crash resulted in at least 20 arrests and numerous other charges, including aiding and abetting, bank fraud, and possession of controlled substances.