Man Sentenced In US Stowaway Case

November 29, 2011

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A Nigerian-American man who pleaded guilty to stowing away on a commercial airline flight from New York to Los Angeles was sentenced on Monday to time served and placed on supervised release.

Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, who has been in custody since his arrest in June, had pleaded guilty in August to a single count of stowing away on a vessel or aircraft, in an incident that revealed an apparent lapse in airport security.

Prosecutors say Noibi slipped onto an overnight Virgin America flight in June from New York to Los Angeles without paying, using a day-old ticket and boarding pass from another passenger.

He was arrested at Los Angeles airport several days later as he tried to board a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta with another outdated boarding pass, authorities and court documents said.

Authorities who searched his bags at the time found more than 10 boarding passes in other individuals' names, the FBI said in an affidavit filed at the time.

The US Transportation Security Administration confirmed Noibi had somehow cleared airport security screening before getting onto the Virgin America plane at John F Kennedy Airport.

Noibi told the FBI he made it through security with the expired boarding pass, his University of Michigan identification card and a police report that his passport had been stolen.

Authorities have said Noibi's motives were unclear. He told federal agents who questioned him that he was on his way to recruit people for his software business, the FBI has said.