Man pleads guilty in plane theft

Friday, August 14, 2009
Adam Dylan Leon

ST. LOUIS -- A Turkish-Canadian man has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing a plane in Canada and flying over three states before landing along a dark southern Missouri highway.

Adam Dylan Leon pleaded guilty Thursday in St. Louis to federal charges of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, importation of a stolen aircraft and illegal entry.

The 31-year-old formerly known as Yavuz Berke admitted that on April 6, he stole a four-seat Cessna 172 from his Thunder Bay, Ontario, flight school and crossed the U.S. border. It landed more than seven hours later near Ellsinore, Mo.

He faces a maximum of 20 years and six months in prison at his Nov. 3 sentencing.

Leon's attorney, federal public defender Lucille Liggett, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

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