Editor's note: The following is a press release from Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 22, 2012
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announces the auction of a 1959 Piper Comanche Single Engine Fixed-Wing Aircraft on Municibid.com, a website designed for auctioning government property.
The auction begins on June 22, 2012, and closes on July 12, 2012. The minimum bid is set at $4,000, with a reserve of $22,000. Interested bidders will be able to inspect the plane and log books (engine and airframe) on Wednesday, June 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and again on Saturday, June 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The inspection will be held Wings Field, 1501 Narcissa Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Pictures of the plane and auction details are available on Municibid.com. Inquiries should be made to Assistant District Attorney Jim Staerk, Assistant District Attorney Steve Bunn or Administrative Assistant Celeste Maia at 610-278-3108.
On April 18, 2012, after a hearing before the Honorable S. Gerald Corso, the court forfeited the plane to the district attorney. Judge Corso determined that James Handzus, the pilot and owner, flew his plane from Rifle, Colorado to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he acquired one pound of methamphetamine. Handzus then flew the methamphetamine to Wings Field in Blue Bell, Montgomery County, and sold it to an undercover detective at a nearby restaurant. Detectives seized the plane at Wings Field on April 22, 2011.
James Handzus was previously convicted after a trial in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas for drug law violations in connection with this incident. Handzus was sentenced on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, to a prison term of 9 to 22 years.
Approved for release,
Risa Vetri Ferman