A Canadian helicopter pilot who flew loads of drugs into the U.S. from Canada for organized criminal groups has been given a 10-year prison sentence.
Henry Rosenau, 61, was a helicopter pilot who flew dozens of loads of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S., often flying dangerously low to avoid radar detection and landing in remote forest clearings as far away as Montana.
Rosenau was arrested as part of “Operation Frozen Timber,” which resulted in the indictments of more than 40 people suspected in drug smugging operations between 2000 and 2005. Rosenau pleaded guilty on the eve of his second trial for the charges. The first ended in a hung jury.
When he was arrested, Canadian authorities found found a loaded handgun, night vision goggles, two satellite telephones, and a GPS device programed with known landing sites used by the marijuana traffickers. Video from the Frozen Timber investigation is available here: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/144923/operation-frozen-timber
Since his indictment in May 2006, Rosenau fought extradition from Canada and had filed lawsuits in Canada against witnesses, law enforcement and prosecutors to try to derail the prosecution. As part of his plea agreement, Rosenau agreed to dismiss those lawsuits and admitted they were frivolous.
During the course of the operation, U.S. and Canadian authorities intercepted more than 17 drug loads, including one shipment in February 2005 of 169 kilograms of cocaine.
Authorities say the smugglers planned to use a helicopter to smuggle the cocaine from a landing site in the Okanogan National Forest to British Columbia. Another significant seizure in the case came in September 2005, when agents followed two courier vehicles to a Puyallup residence and recovered more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana.