Drug cops arrest airport's partial owner, seize helicopter
- Police allege Hugh Lloyd II, part owner of Baublitz Commercial Airport, was planting and selling pot.
- Lloyd's attorney said the York County Drug Task Force seized Lloyd's helicopter and pickup truck.
A Brogue-area man who is part owner of Baublitz Commercial Airport and lives on airport property is accused of selling cocaine and marijuana plants to undercover officers.
Hugh A. Lloyd II, 48, of 3354 Warner Road in Chanceford Township, is free on $25,000 unsecured bail, charged with three felony counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and two misdemeanor counts of simple drug possession. He was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Scott Laird.
His defense attorney, George Margetas, said the York County Drug Task Force seized Lloyd's one-seater helicopter as well as his Ford F-150 pickup truck and a drone that belongs to one of Lloyd's family members.
Charging documents state that about 9:30 p.m. July 5, police officers watched as Lloyd planted marijuana seedlings in a cornfield near the intersection of Canning House and Jacobs roads, just north of the Brogue.
The officers returned later, during daylight hours, and recovered 25 plants, documents allege.
The next night, undercover officers bought 153 marijuana seedlings from Lloyd in the area of the airport, police allege.
"At that time, the marijuana plants were being grown by Lloyd in a cornfield adjacent to an airplane hangar on Baublitz Airport property, which is partially owned by Lloyd," charging documents state.
The allegations: "The investigation determined that Lloyd planted his marijuana seedlings at night in agricultural fields in rural, southern York County," according to a news release from Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office. "During surveillance activities by (York County Drug Task Force) officers, Lloyd was followed from his residence to area cornfields where he was observed planting the seedlings."
Lloyd told drug task force members that he's been growing pot in southern York County for more than 20 years, police allege.
He also told them he intended to let the plants mature, then harvest them and sell the pot to partially fund a used-car business he intended to open with an associate, which would be located in the 800 block of West Broadway in York Township, according to King.
Undercover officers bought cocaine from Lloyd at the West Broadway location on July 14, charging documents state.
'Base of operations': Drug task force members searched Lloyd's home on Aug. 11 and seized marijuana growing equipment, drug paraphernalia and various prescription medications, documents state.
Officials allege Lloyd used the hangar as "his base of operations for his criminal activity," according to King's news release.
Police also found some oxycodone, for which Lloyd didn't have a prescription, in his vehicle, documents state.
Not a 'drug lord': Margetas said his client is no drug lord and wasn't using the helicopter to transport drugs.
"He flies his helicopter recreationally. It has nothing to do with any kind of grow operation," the attorney said. "This (seizure) is a big money grab for them."
Margetas said authorities "want to make it sound like he was selling vast amounts of drugs, and that's not what was happening here."
Margetas maintains his client gave police a statement under duress, and that the statement wasn't recorded.
Interrogated? "He was being interrogated for up to 14 hours, so any statements made by my client ... were either under duress, coerced or made in fear," he said. "He was not selling drugs to anyone. But he would've said just about anything at that point to go home."
The attorney also said Lloyd has no business involvement with the West Broadway property in York Township and doesn't own it.
Authorities said Lloyd lives in an airplane hangar on airport property, but Margetas said Lloyd actually lives in a mobile home on airport property.
Lloyd has answered police questions and turned himself in Thursday at District Judge Laird's office, his attorney said.
"To say he's been selling drugs for 20 years is just absurd," Margetas said.
Chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday said he wasn't interested in litigating Lloyd's case in a newspaper article.
"We stand by the affidavit of probable cause in this case, and the office looks forward to presenting the facts that are alleged in court," Sunday said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.