Home Los Angeles Press Releases 2014 Man Who Interfered with Flight Crew Sentenced to Federal Prison

Man Who Interfered with Flight Crew Sentenced to Federal Prison

FBI Los Angeles January 15, 2014
  • Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller (310) 996-3343

SANTA ANA, CA—A man who interfered with a flight crew by assaulting flight crew members and passengers on a flight from Chicago to Orange County, California, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison, announced Andrė Birotte, Jr. the United States Attorney in Los Angeles; and Bill L. Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Arash Durrani, 28, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. In addition to the prison term, Durrani was sentenced to 12 months of rehabilitation and three years’ supervised release.

Durrani pleaded guilty on May 21, 2013, to a one-count federal grand jury indictment charging him with interference with a flight crew. According to the sentencing memo filed with the court, Durrani engaged in belligerent, uncooperative, and violent behavior toward the flight attendants and fellow passengers, including ignoring instructions to remain in his seat, yelling that he wanted to go home and fighting with, spitting on, and biting other passengers.

Prosecutors wrote that the defendant’s actions were reckless and that he endangered the airplane and passengers, noting that Durrani was violent and verbally abusive toward other passengers and the flight attendants. Moreover, prosecutors wrote, Durrani caused a dangerous disturbance in the confined space of a crowded airplane and had to be physically restrained and sedated, noting that dealing with Durrani required a significant amount of the flight crew’s time and attention during the flight and that the professionals who were supposed to be ensuring a safe flight were-at least part of the time-busy dealing with defendant’s angry antics.

Durrani is scheduled to begin serving his sentence on March 3, 2014.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orange County, with considerable support from John Wayne Airport officials.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.

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  • U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Relations: 213-894-6947
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