Armstrong man sentenced in U.S. for smuggling drugs

Henry Rosenau, 61, given 10 years in jail for his role in smuggling drugs through the air across the border into the U.S.

An Armstrong man has been sentenced in a Seattle court to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised released for his part in smuggling drugs into the U.S. from Canada.

Henry Rosenau, 61, pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to import marijuana.

Rosenau admitted he repeatedly smuggled thousands of pounds of marijuana across the border from Canada, illegally flying at low levels to avoid radar, and landing in wilderness areas as far east as Montana.

“You had skills that you turned into something sinister for your own greed,” stated Chief U.S. district judge Marsha J. Pechman upon sentencing Rosenau. “You dumped lots and lots of drugs iinto this country that made their way into high schools and middle schools across Washington.”

Rosenau confessed that between 2000 and 2005 he flew dozens of laods of marijuana into forested areas in western and eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana. He also flew Canadians across the border into the U.S. to work as off-leaders and transporters for the drug loads.

Rosenau was first contacted by Canadian law enforcement in 2005 as he returned to Canada after delivering a load. In the cockpit of his helicopter, RCMP found a loaded handgun, night vision goggles, two satellite telephones and a GPS device with known landing sites used by marijuana traffickers.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 15.5 years in prison, calling Rosenau “a man who skirts the law when he believes doing so will benefit him…and who believes dealing with governments is some sort of a game.”

Prosecutors wrote that Rosenau “flew for some of the biggest and well-known drug traffickers.”