FBI Detroit
Special Agent Mara Schneider
(313) 965-5749
March 2, 2016

FBI Arrests Flight Attendant

David P. Gelios, special agent in charge of FBI Detroit Division, announced today the arrest of Johnathan Tafoya-Montano. Mr. Tafoya-Montano was working as a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight that was traveling from Dallas, Texas to Detroit on February 1, 2016.

During the flight, Mr. Tafoya-Montano reported a fire in a rear lavatory on the aircraft and extinguished the flames. After the fire was reported to the captain, the captain notified the control tower, and the aircraft, already on approach to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, was granted emergency status. The aircraft landed without incident and all passengers and flight crew safely disembarked.

An investigation revealed that Mr. Tafoya-Montano had set the fire himself, and he eventually admitted to such. Mr. Tafoya-Montano has been charged with destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities” and false statements or entries generally. He was arrested on March 1, 2016, and his detention hearing was earlier today. He was released on bond with conditions. One of the conditions included a prohibition from flying without permission of the court.