Two law enforcement officers were found dead in the wreckage of a small plane in southern Colorado Friday night.
The victims were a retired Pueblo police officer and an Pueblo County deputy. Their identities are not expected to be released until Saturday.
Both men were close personal friends of mine and both were law enforcement professionals," said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor.
The wreckage was found 4 to 5 miles northwest of Lake Isabelle, near Saint Charles Peak. The plane went down in the area of the Pole Creek Trail Head on Ophir Creek Road.
A Flight for Life helicopter was ferrying crews to the crash site. Darkness prevented recovery of the men's bodies Friday night.
The men were in Piper Super Cruiser which has a ceiling of 12,600 feet. It was not clear at what elevation the plane crashed.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the single-engine plane was hired by the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department and flew out of the Pueblo Memorial Airport Friday morning.
The Pueblo Sheriff's Office lost contact with the plane at 9:40 a.m. It was due to return to the Pueblo airport at 10 a.m.
An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive at 1 a.m. Saturday.
Teams from Pueblo, Custer and Fremont counties were involved in the search. El Paso County Search and Rescue will send a crew to assist recovery crews on Saturday morning.
On Aug. 15, the sheriff's office made the largest marijuana bust in Pueblo County history in the same area. About 7,000 marijuana plants, worth about $15 million, were found in the San Isabel Forest off of Highway 165 in Rye.
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