In a matter of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a Connecticut man’s drug conviction, concluding that the “vehicle exception” to warrantless searches of automobiles also applies to private airplanes.

Robert Capelli and his co-defendants were convicted of transporting bulk quantities of marijuana from California to Connecticut following a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Their enterprise grew to the point where they enlisted a pilot, Donald Burns, to transport the marijuana in his single-engine airplane, according to the appellate court’s opinion filed Tuesday.

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