Dallas Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years in Federal Prison for Crashing a Stolen Truck Through a Gate and Onto Secured Area at Love Field Airport
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 30, 2011|
DALLAS—Michael Browne, 47, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to 270 months (22.5 years) in federal prison, following his guilty plea in November 2010 to one count of interfering with security screening personnel. Browne has been in custody, on both related and unrelated charges, since his arrest on August 19, 2010, when he led police on a high-speed chase through Dallas that ultimately ended when he crashed a stolen truck through a closed security gate at Love Field Airport and was shortly thereafter apprehended by police officers. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to plea documents filed in the case, on August 19, 2010, officers with the Dallas Police Department encountered Browne as they were conducting surveillance at an apartment complex in North Dallas. When they ran the license plate of the truck Browne was driving, they determined that it had been reported stolen the previous day. Officers followed Browne from the apartment complex and marked units attempted to stop him, but after initially slowing down, Browne led police on a chase through Dallas. Eventually, with several police vehicles in pursuit, Browne drove the truck into the Love Field Airport entrance. He then turned at a traffic light within the airport and drove past the Love Field police station.
As the truck and the police cars approached the security guard building at the gate leading into the secured area of the airport, as routine, a security guard exited the building to check the identification of personnel coming through the gate. This particular gate was one that was routinely used by emergency personnel and vehicles, such as ambulances and police vehicles, coming into the airport, and when the guard heard the approaching sirens, she believed that authorized personnel were approaching the gate on official business. However, when the guard saw the approaching vehicles, she froze for a moment and her co-worker pulled her back into the guard building—preventing her from being struck by the truck Browne was driving as it crashed through the gate and drove into the secured area of the airport.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration-Federal Air Marshal Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce prosecuted.