June 17, 2011
By Alyssa J. Miller
Colton Harris-Moore, commonly known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” pleaded guilty June 17 to seven felony charges, including “two counts of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft” and “piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.
Harris-Moore was captured July 11, 2010, after the Cessna 400 Corvalis TT he now admits to stealing in Indiana ran out of fuel in the Bahamas. It marked the end of a multi-year crime spree that stretched from Washington state to Canada to Indiana to the Bahamas and included theft of cars, boats, and aircraft.
The 20-year-old’s charges also include burglary, “interstate and foreign transportation of a stolen firearm, being a fugitive in possession of a firearm,” and “interstate transportation of a stolen vessel,” the release said. In a chronicling of Harris-Moore’s crimes, the U.S. Attorney’s office said that he stole an aircraft in September 2009 and then again in February and July 2010.
The plea agreement comes with a recommendation for 63 to 78 months in prison, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones can sentence the Camano Island, Wash., native to the maximum allowed, the news release stated. Also in the plea deal, Harris-Moore agreed that the loss caused by his crimes totaled more than $1.4 million and that he would not receive any financial gain from telling his story. Any proceeds would go to the victims of his crimes. (Learn about some of the victims in this November 2010 AOPA Pilot feature.)
Harris-Moore is schedule to be sentenced Oct. 28.
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Miller has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.
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