Russian man who flew to LA without passport and ticket faces 5 years in US prison


A 46-year-old Russian citizen, Sergei Ochigava, who boarded a flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles last November without a ticket, passport or visa has been convicted by a jury in California of being a stowaway on an aircraft, BBC News reported on Jan. 27.

Officials arrested Ochigava at the LA airport after they could not find any record of him being booked on a flight or of him applying for a visa.

He has been in custody since November, and faces up to five years in prison.

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Prosecutors said Ochigava got through security at Copenhagen Airport in Denmark without a boarding pass by tailgating a passenger through a turnstile gate.

The next day, he passed through a boarding gate undetected and boarded a Scandinavian Airlines flight to Los Angeles.

According to Ochigava's indictment documents, members of the cabin crew noticed him on the plane because he was moving between multiple unassigned seats.

Ochigava was met by US border agents when the flight landed in LA on Nov. 4. The agents were unable to find any official record of him on the Scandinavian Airlines flight or any other flight.

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He was also unable to provide a visa, a passport, or any other travel document needed to enter the US. After searching his bag, officials found both Russian and Israeli ID cards that belonged to him.

Officials accused him of giving "false and misleading information about his travel to the United States," including telling border agents that he had forgotten his passport on the plane.

Ochigava told border agents that he "might have had a plane ticket” but was not sure, according to his indictment.

He also said he had no memory of how he got on the flight, claiming he had not slept for three days.

Ochigava will be formally sentenced on Feb. 5.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine