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Navy pilot charged with drug smuggling

A pilot with VP-1 squadron at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station has been charged in federal court for smuggling the drug Ecstasy into the U.S. from Canada, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Friedman.

Lt. Alan Vaughn, an Anacortes resident, was arrested at the Blaine border Feb. 23 following a joint investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

Friedman said Vaughn has been charged with importation of MDMA (Ecstasy) and possession with intent to distribute MDMA. The charges carry a prison term of up to 20 years.

Vaughn is accused of using his status as a naval officer to avoid scrutiny in smuggling large amounts of Ecstasy across the border, according to the affidavit from the search warrant. He sold $30,000 worth of Ecstasy to a confidential information in three transactions this year, the affidavit states.

Agents searched the pilot’s home in Anacortes after his arrest.

Vaughn is a pilot of the Navy’s P3-C Orion airplanes, which are loaded with electronic surveillance equipment. He was a first lieutenant with the wing, which means he was responsible for administrative spaces and wasn’t actively flying, a Navy spokesperson said. He was originally from Citrus Heights, Calif.

Vaughn is being held at the federal detention center at Sea-Tac, according to Friedman.

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