Fighters Intercept Pot Plane in Obama Airspace

Cessna strays too close as Obama heads to LAX
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2012 12:27 AM CST
Updated Feb 17, 2012 6:10 AM CST
Fighters Intercept Pot Plane Near Marine One
President Barak Obama exits Marine One at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday before departing for San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

What were they smoking? A four-seater Cessna plane hauling marijuana yesterday strayed into restricted airspace designed to protect President Obama, who was flying on Marine One; the small plane was intercepted by fighter jets. The incident occurred as the president was traveling in the helicopter from Orange County to Los Angeles International Airport, reports the Los Angeles Times. Authorities attempted repeatedly to contact the Cessna 182. When the pilot failed to respond, two F-16s forced the aircraft to land nearby at Long Beach Airport, where it was met by law enforcement.

The two men onboard were busted after a search turned up 40 pounds of pot, a source told ABC News. No one was injured in the confrontation, and authorities determined the "incursion" was not a threat to the president and was never close enough to put him in any danger, said a Secret Service spokesman. Obama took off later for San Francisco aboard Air Force One, and heads to Seattle today. He's in the area for a series of Democratic fundraisers. (More Marine One stories.)

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