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Arrest Two Colombians with Ton of Cocaine

October 10, 1986

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) _ The military said Thursday it had forced down a plane carrying a ton of refined cocaine and arrested two Colombians on board.

Maj. Jorge Alberto Arguello, spokesman for the armed forces, said four Honduran combat planes intercepted the Aerocommander 695-A on Wednesday and forced it to land in La Ceiba, 150 miles north of Tegucigalpa.

He identified the pilot as Francisco Rubiano and the co-pilot as Rafael Francisco Munoz. They were being questioned by military intelligence, he said.

Rubiano said at a news conference organized by the army that they had taken off for La Ceiba from the Cauca Valley in Colombia, and were to be paid $200,000 for delivering the cocaine.

″They forced us to descend by shooting at our plane several times,″ Rubiano said.

He said there were at least six bullet holes in the wings.

″Fortunately, we had little fuel,″ Rubiano said. ″Otherwise, the aircraft would have exploded in the air when it was hit by the shots.″

Attorney General Ruben Zepeda Gutierrez said Rubiano and Munoz would be tried, and face sentences of up to 25 years in prison.

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