DENVER—Daniel Michael Drinan, age 63, of Reno, Nevada, was arrested Saturday night at Denver International Airport for lewd, indecent, or obscene acts in public aboard an aircraft, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone announced. Drinan was on Southwest Flight 1998 en route from Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) to Denver International Airport (DEN) when he allegedly sexually touched himself in full view of other passengers. Drinan is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon, where he will be advised of his rights. The criminal complaint was obtained by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office this morning, September 10, 2012.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Drinan was aboard a Southwest Airlines Flight. Southwest offers WiFi Internet service to customers for a fee. Drinan connected his laptop computer to the airline’s WiFi service and began to view pornography. One person in a nearby seat notice the defendant touching himself to the pornography. She waited, hoping he would stop, but ultimately had to alert a flight attendant. That flight attendant contacted a male flight attendant who asked Drinan to “put his pants back together.” At the time the male flight attendant talked with Drinan the defendant’s genitalia was totally exposed. Investigators were told that at some points during the conduct that Drinan was trying to use his laptop to conceal his behavior.
If convicted of crimes aboard an aircraft, the defendant faces not more than 90 days in jail and up to a $250,000 fine.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Denver Police Department.
The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Allison, Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The charges contained in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.