U.S. Attorney R. Trent Shores announced today that BOLUTIFE OLUSEGUN OLORUNDA, 29, of Vancouver, Washington, pleaded guilty to Assault Within Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank H. McCarthy.
On May 30, 2018, while on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, specifically a Delta Air Lines flight 1156, in route from Portland, Oregon, to Atlanta, Georgia, OLORUNDA verbally assaulted and interfered with a flight attendant on the aircraft such that the pilot and Captain of the aircraft declared an “emergency” and diverted the aircraft to Tulsa International Airport (TIA) for an emergency landing.
“Airline passengers must follow the instructions of flight staff. If they do not, there are consequences. Mr. Olorunda learned that those consequences can include diversion of a commercial flight and federal prosecution. The defendant will be reimbursing the airline for the cost of diverting that flight,” United States Attorney Shores said. “I commend the quick thinking and decision making by the flight crew and Federal Air Marshals. Their actions should inspire confidence in the safety and security of commercial air travel in America.”
A sentencing date has yet to be determined.
OLORUNDA is facing a maximum term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $5,000 and one year supervised release. Further, and as part of his Plea Agreement, OLORUNDA will have to pay restitution to Delta Air Lines in the amount of $9,118 for the cost to the airline for the diverted emergency landing. Additionally, OLORUNDA could face a civil penalty and fine from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The case was investigated by Agents with the TSA Office of Law Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Tulsa Airport Police. Assistant United States Attorney Robert T. Raley handled the prosecution of this case.