Canadian Drug Dealers Exploit Tiny Michigan Airports

SANDUSKY, Mich. (AP) — Small airports in Michigan's rural Thumb are being used to smuggle drugs from Canada, alarming aviation managers and contributing to the call for more protection on the northern U.S. border. John Beutlich of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says tracking rogue planes at low altitude is like picking a needle from a haystack. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the U.S. hopes to start tapping into 22 Canadian radars to fill gaps on the border. A recent federal trial in Michigan revealed that smugglers from Toronto made at least 10 flights into Michigan in 2009. Two couriers in an SUV were captured in Sandusky with 175 pounds of marijuana from a plane. The Sandusky airport has installed a fence to keep cars from the runway. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)