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2 women accused of assault on flight that was diverted to Phoenix

(File photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Two women from New York have been indicted by a grand jury on three charges related to a flight that was diverted to Phoenix in February, authorities said Wednesday.

Kelly Pichardo, 31, and Leeza S. Rodriguez, 30, both from Bronx, New York, allegedly assaulted a crew member while on board an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Los Angeles on Feb. 24, according to a press release.

Each woman also assaulted a passenger while on the flight, authorities said.

The action of the two women caused the flight crew to conduct an unscheduled landing in Phoenix, according to the indictment.

Interfering with flight crew members is a violation of federal law and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years of confinement and a $250,000 fine, while conviction for a simple assault has a maximum penalty of six months of confinement and a $5,000, according to the release.

Pichardo appeared virtually in federal court Wednesday, while Rodriguez is scheduled to appear next week.

The FBI investigated the case with assistance from the Phoenix Police Department, according to the indictment.

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