Florida man charged in BIA flight diversion

Posted July 16, 2010, at 9:08 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:35 a.m.
Derek Stansberry of Riverview, Fla. leaves U.S. District Court in Bangor on Friday, May 14, 2010 with Federal Public Defender Virginia Villa after he was released on $20,000 bail. Stansberry faces charges after he passed along a note that said he had a fake passport and told federal air marshals that he had dynamite aboard a Paris-to-Atlanta flight on April 27, according to prosecutors. (Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown)
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Derek Stansberry of Riverview, Fla. leaves U.S. District Court in Bangor on Friday, May 14, 2010 with Federal Public Defender Virginia Villa after he was released on $20,000 bail. Stansberry faces charges after he passed along a note that said he had a fake passport and told federal air marshals that he had dynamite aboard a Paris-to-Atlanta flight on April 27, according to prosecutors. (Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown)

BANGOR, Maine — A Florida man charged with causing a trans-Atlantic flight to be diverted to Bangor in April has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Derek Stansberry, 27, of Riverview, Fla., was indicted for interference with flight crew members and attendants and giving false information and making threats.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. July 28 in U.S. District Court in Bangor. He is expected to enter not guilty pleas.

Stansberry was released May 14 on $20,000 unsecured bail to stay with his girlfriend, Jillian Krause’s, parents, who live in Matamoras, Pa., the easternmost town in the Keystone State, where it borders New Jersey and New York. It had a population of 2,612 in 2008, according to the website city-data.com.

Nothing has been filed in court to indicate Stansberry is not abiding by the conditions of his release, which include wearing an electronic monitor, undergoing a psychological evaluation as an outpatient, not possessing a gun, destructive device or other dangerous weapon, and not traveling outside Pennsylvania except with prior approval by an officer with U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services. He also was required to surrender his passport.

Prosecutors allege that on April 27 Stansberry passed a note to a member of the flight crew that said he had a fake passport. When questioned by federal air marshals, he told them he had dynamite in a laptop in his backpack, according to court documents. The Paris-to-Atlanta Delta Air Lines flight ended up landing at Bangor International Airport.

Stansberry’s travel papers were in order, and there was no dynamite, according to court documents. He told investigators he took eight Ambien pills before boarding the plane. Ambien is commonly used by travelers to sleep on long flights.

The former intelligence specialist, who left the U.S. Air Force with an honorable discharge, had been working for Eatontown, N.J.-based R4 Inc. and was performing military-to-military cooperation activities in the west African nation Burkina Faso, according to previously published reports. He was returning to his home in Riverview, a suburb of Tampa, Fla., when the alleged incident occurred.

If convicted, Stansberry faces up to 20 years in prison on the interference charge and up to five years in prison on the charge of making false statements and threats. He could be fined up to $250,000 on each count.

In addition, Stansberry could be ordered to reimburse Delta Air Lines for the cost of the flight diversion and the expense of putting up the passengers and crew overnight in Bangor hotels.

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