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Montana man arrested for 2007 American Falls airplane theft

By Kaitlin Loukides
Published On: Oct 30 2012 09:51:43 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2012 07:08:04 PM CDT
AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho -

A man wanted for stealing an airplane from the American Falls airport in 2007 was arrested Sunday in Fairfield, Montana by the Teton County, Montana Sheriff's offfice.  Brian Haynes, 66, was charged with Felony Conspiracy to Commit Theft and Grand Theft in connection with a 2003 AMD Alarus airplane taken from American Air at the American Falls airport.

Teton County, Montana Sheriff Keith Van Setten said the man was located with the help of the U.S. Marshal's Service in Pocatello.  He said Haynes had been living in a rural area west of Fairfield for many years and is originally from that area. 

American Falls Airport manager Stan Bearup said he would constantly talk about visiting his father in Montana.  He also mentioned he and Haynes did not get along.

"He knew I suspected him and we didn't have a very good relationship," Bearup said. "He pretty much knew I thought he was a snake." 

Bearup also mentioned Haynes is suspected of stealing a large, undisclosed amount of money from his estranged wife after losing his home.

A Power County deputy was in Montana questioning Haynes this afternoon, and the Power County Sheriff's Office said Haynes will be transferred back to an American Falls jail cell later today.

The Pocatello FBI was handling the case before Detective Sargent Max Sprague and Sheriff Jim Jeffries took over the case. Jeffries explained how the window of opportunity to make the arrest was closing, and they needed to act quickly.

"With the case of the missing Alarus airplane, it was down to the wire," Jeffries said. "We just felt that we needed to press forward and press hard to clear this up before the statue of limitations runs out." 

In Idaho, the statute of limitation is five years, so with the incident happening in 2007, the deadline was drawing near. 

However, the arrests in this case are not stopping with Haynes. Jeffries said there is one more arrest warrant still active and pending. He says Haynes did not act alone, and they are certain they know who the other suspect is. Due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, we are not at liberty to divulge any more information about him at this time.

Investigators believe the plane was flown into Texas and disassembled. When told this information, Bearup said he was not surprised since the two suspects constantly spoke about traveling to Pampa, Texas. 

Bearup said it was unusual that the airplane records were found inside the plane along with the keys, and suspects someone else, such as a maintenance worker, might have helped abide in the heist.

Haynes has also been charged with Forgery and Grand Theft. So far, no court date has been set.

Haynes was being held in the Teton County jail in Choteau, Montana on $75 thousand bond pending extradition to Idaho.

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