Pilot accused of smuggling cocaine faces federal charges

Stanley Rafael Hill, 49, charged with importing controlled substance

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A Texas commercial airlines pilot accused of smuggling cocaine from South America to Houston by swallowing 62 bags of it was wearing his pilot's uniform on the flight, according to a source close to the investigation.

Local 2 Investigates has learned new details about a bizarre story we first broke Monday.

Stanley Rafael Hill, 49, of McKinney, is charged with possession of drugs with intent to deliver in district court. But Hill is also now charged in federal court with importing a controlled substance as Homeland Security investigators have now picked up the case.

According to court documents, the commercial airline pilot swallowed balloons of cocaine to transport it from South America to Houston, but one of them burst soon after he landed.

A source said Hill called 911 himself and was released from Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital in Houston Wednesday.

A source close to the investigation told Local 2 that shortly before boarding the flight from Colombia, Hill ingested 62 small rubber sacks of cocaine. Hill was traveling as a passenger on a commercial flight, he was not flying the airplane, the source said.

Local 2 Investigates discovered Hill is a Federal Aviation Administration licensed commercial pilot with certification to fly a 737. Documents uncovered showed he flew for ExpressJet from 2007-2008.

It remains unclear whether his security clearances could make it easier to smuggle drugs.

An airline industry source said Hill currently works for a large regional carrier that serves four separate airlines.

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