Local author tells of Franklin’s drug plane incident

Published 10:46 am Friday, May 19, 2017

On a foggy morning in December 1981, an airplane carrying 22,500 pounds of marijuana landed at the City of Franklin’s municipal airport. It was a day that local author J. Edward Howell Jr. remembers well, as he was nearby when the plane landed and personally knew three of the people involved in the drug-running conspiracy.

Local author J. Edward Howell Jr. with his latest book “Destination Intrigue,” a true-crime thriller on Franklin’s “drug plane” incident in the early 1980s. — Stephen Faleski | Tidewater News

Howell recently published “Destination Intrigue,” a true-crime thriller detailing his recollection of the incident and his interactions with those involved. The book became available in paperback on Amazon.com on May 15.

Howell said he came to know three of the people involved in the crime when he sold his crop-spraying business to two of them — William C. Jarvis and Barry Lee Fullerton — after an incident of chemical poisoning necessitated his leaving the occupation in the 1970s.

The two new owners reportedly hired a third person, Bruce Stanley, all three of whom would eventually become involved to varying degrees in the conspiracy.

“Some were guilty, some were not guilty,” Howell said, adding that people from Emporia, Franklin, Newport News, Virginia Beach and Florida were also involved.

“Destination Intrigue” is Howell’s second published book. His first is an autobiography titled “And the Sun Rose on Another Day.” He began writing “Destination Intrigue” about four to five months ago, and is working on a third book, which chronicles the history of his mother’s ancestors and her life.

Howell is a lifelong resident of Franklin.