Rudi Dekkers is now facing federal conspiracy charges, for transporting drugs with his aircraft. He is best known for his connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as his school taught two suicide pilots to fly.
9/11 leader Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi both attended Dekkers's flight school in Venice, the Herald Tribune writes. After the incident, Dekkers was forced to close down the Huffman Aviation School.
His school only withstood 6 more months of legal and public scrutiny. After closing down the facility, he relocated to Naples.
Government officials had been watching Atta for a long time, however they had not been in contact with agencies that would have prevented the attacks, Dekkers claims.
He was apprehended during a sting organized by Homeland Security. An Investigations agent approached him with the business proposition of shifting a blue suitcase. The bag contained 18.7 kg (41 lbs) of cocaine and 860 g (1.9 lbs) of heroin, which the suspect was well aware off.
The incident occurred in Houston, Texas on December 2. The undercover agent introduced himself during Halloween, while he was posing as a friend of Arturo Astorquiza.
The latter is a familiar face to law enforcement, as the leader of an international drug trafficking cartel. He was used to bring credibility to the agent's story.
In 2005, Dekkers complained about his unwilling connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks ruining his life, leaving him without a business or career, and with a mark that would not let anyone hire him.
“Everywhere I come, they say, ‘Are you not that guy that trained terrorists?’ [...] I am without a job right now. I have no income anymore. My life was destroyed,” he told reporters at the time.
“His arrest marks the latest chapter in Dekkers' slide from his pre-9/11 life, when he lived in a tony, Florida subdivision, drove a Dodge Viper and estimated his net worth to be about $12 million (€9 million),” reports say.