Barefoot Bandit Gets 7 Years

Two-year crime spree ends with hefty prison sentence.

Colton Harris-Moore, 20, the young man who embarked on a multi-year crime spree during which he stole — and crashed — multiple airplanes in his cat-and-mouse game with police in a dozen states and at least three countries, was sentenced to seven years in prison for crimes committed in three Washington counties. Harris-Moore was eventually apprehended in 2010 after crashing yet another stolen airplane, a Cessna 400 (Corvalis), into a mangrove swamp in the Bahamas and trying to flee the island by boat.

When describing his experience, the self-taught pilot, despite his looming, lengthy prison term, focused at one point on the joy of flying: “The euphoria of the countdown to takeoff and the realization of a dream was nearly blinding," he said of his first flight. "My first thought after takeoff was 'Oh my God, I'm flying.' I had waited my entire life for that moment."

It is an experience he will have to wait a good long time to experience again. Harris-Moore will serve his state term concurrently with his seven-year federal sentence, which was handed down earlier this year. A movie deal has already been signed for the story, but Harris-Moore won’t see a penny of the profits under his federal plea arrangement. Instead, his share will go to the victims of his crimes.