Alleged plane thief faced professional trouble


WATSONVILLE The man who reportedly stole a plane from Watsonville Municipal Airport on June 26 and then crashed it into the ocean was a physician’s assistant who was on probation for prescribing a medication that was not medically necessary.

According to a report by the State Medical Board of California, Hugo Mar had been on probation since Sept. 9, 2016 after he wrote a prescription for 120 tablets of Norco, a drug commonly known as Vicodin.

But the number had clearly been changed to 180. Mar told the pharmacist that the number had been forged, but said to fill it anyway, the report said.

When investigators from the Department of Consumer Affairs questioned Mar, he admitted that there was no medical reason for the patient to have received 180 pills, the report said.

Mar was charged with misdemeanor unlawful prescribing. Under the terms of his probation, an attending physician was required to be on site at least 35 percent of the time Mar was practicing.

He practiced at Soledad Medical Clinic, and reportedly had his own practice on Lincoln Street in Watsonville, but it is not clear where he was working when he wrote the prescription.

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Hugo Mar, who reportedly stole a plane from Watsonville Municipal Airport June 26, had been on probation by the California State Medical Board since 2016. (Contributed photo)

Mar was an active member of Santa Cruz Flying Club, which owned the stolen airplane on June 26.  Mar did not make a reservation for the plane, which was required under club rules. He reportedly took off without a flight plan on an unscheduled departure around 9 p.m.

The aircraft was reported missing on June 27.

The plane disappeared from radar 3.3 miles off the coast, directly west of Watsonville airport. The pilot made no radio calls at the time of departure, or at any time, the Santa Cruz Flying Club stated in a blog post.

Detectives found Mar’s car abandoned at a WMA parking lot commonly used by pilots.

The U.S. Coast Guard did not find any wreckage or a body.

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