UNITED STATES NEWS

Russian man who arrived on Los Angeles flight without passport or ticket charged with federal crime

Dec 12, 2023, 4:29 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Russian man who flew on a plane from Denmark to Los Angeles in November without a passport or ticket told U.S. authorities he didn’t remember how he got through security in Europe, according to a federal complaint filed by the FBI.

Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 4 via Scandinavian Airlines flight 931 from Copenhagen. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer could not find Ochigava on the flight manifest or any other incoming international flights, according to the complaint filed Nov. 6 in Los Angeles federal court.

He was charged with being a stowaway on an aircraft and pleaded not guilty in a Dec. 5 arraignment. A trial was scheduled for Dec. 26. A federal public defender representing Ochigava, who remained in custody Tuesday, didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The flight crew told investigators that during the flight’s departure, Ochigava was in a seat that was supposed to be unoccupied. After departure, he kept wandering around the plane, switching seats and trying to talk to other passengers, who ignored him, according to the complaint.

He also ate “two meals during each meal service, and at one point attempted to eat the chocolate that belonged to members of the cabin crew,” the complaint says.

Ochigava didn’t have a passport or visa to enter the United States, officials said. Customs and Border Protection officers searched his bag and found what “appeared to be Russian identification cards and an Israeli identification card,” federal officials said in court documents. They also found in his phone a photograph that partially showed a passport containing his name, date of birth, and a passport number but not his photograph, they said.

Ochigava “gave false and misleading information about his travel to the United States, including initially telling CBP that he left his U.S. passport on the airplane,” the complaint says.

Scandinavian Airlines did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Ochigava told FBI agents that he has a doctorate in economics and marketing and that he had last worked as an economist in Russia.

“Ochigava claimed he had not been sleeping for three days and did not understand what was going on,” the complaint said.

He told officials he might have had a plane ticket to come to the United States, but he was not sure. He also said he didn’t remember how he got through security in Copenhagen and wouldn’t explain what he was doing in the Scandinavian city, according to the complaint.

United States News

FILE - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón speaks during a news conference Feb. 22,...

Associated Press

Los Angeles County district attorney seeks reelection in contest focused on feeling of public safety

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County voters are set to decide next month if embattled District Attorney George Gascón will remain the head of the nation’s largest prosecutor’s office in a race centered on perceptions of public safety. Gascón, who was elected in 2020 on a criminal justice platform alongside a wave of progressive […]

2 hours ago

In combo of undated selfie images provided courtesy of the Dime Doe family, show Dime Doe, a Black ...

Associated Press

A love affair unraveled before a Black transgender woman was fatally shot in rural South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Black transgender woman and the guy she was secretly dating had just been pulled over in rural South Carolina. Dime Doe, the driver, was worried. She already had points against her license and didn’t want another ticket to stop her from getting behind the wheel. Daqua Lameek Ritter, whom she […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Remains found over 50 years ago identified through DNA technology as Oregon teen

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The remains of a teenager found more than 50 years ago have been identified through advanced DNA technology as a young woman who went missing from Portland, Oregon State Police said. The remains are that of Sandra Young, a high school student who disappeared in 1968 or 1969, police said Thursday […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

California man arrested for making threats against election official in Arizona after 2022 vote

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of leaving threatening messages on the personal cellphone of an Arizona election worker he accused of rigging the 2022 election results, federal prosecutors said. The 52-year-old was charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat and will make an initial court […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Two more candidates file papers to run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two more candidates filed paperwork Thursday to appear on Pennsylvania’s primary ballots for U.S. Senate as Democratic Sen. Bob Casey runs for a fourth term and Democrats try to maintain a majority in the narrowly divided chamber. Brandi Tomasetti, a Republican from Lancaster County, and William Parker, a Democrat from Allegheny […]

5 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Russian man who arrived on Los Angeles flight without passport or ticket charged with federal crime