updated 12/21/2004 11:27:23 AM ET 2004-12-21T16:27:23

Authorities called to the scene of a weekend plane crash found no people — dead or alive — but they did find $24 million worth of cocaine.

Federal authorities were seeking the pilot, identified as Eugene N. Cobbs, on a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Johnston said Monday.

The Piper Aerostar twin-engine plane crashed in a wooded area around midnight Saturday near the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport, said James Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Authorities found about 327 pounds of cocaine packaged in blocks and another 193 pounds turned up Monday in the plane’s nose compartment, Johnston said. He estimated the street value at about $24 million.

Authorities were searching for a man believed to be Cobbs who was picked up by a motorist near the airport’s front entrance. His forehead was cut and he asked for a ride to a hotel.

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