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Alleged airline stowaway denied bail after judge says he may be risk to flee

July 1, 2011 |  1:39 pm


A federal magistrate judge Friday denied bail to a 24-year-old year man accused of being a stowaway after he slipped through multiple layers of airport security and hopped a flight from New York to Los Angeles.

Judge Michael Wilner said Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi appeared to be a flight risk after a prosecutor said he believed Noibi would return to Nigeria. The magistrate judge said he was also concerned about the defendant's identity and where he actually lived.

Noibi faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the offense. Authorities say Noibi used an expired boarding pass that did not belong to him -- and also provided only a University of Michigan identification card. Law enforcement sources told The Times they suspect Noibi has used old boarding passes to sneak onto previous flights.

Last week, Noibi was able to get on Virgin America Flight 415 from New York's JFK airport to Los Angeles International Airport. He was discovered two hours into the flight when some passengers in the upscale "main cabin select" section complained that the man seated in 3E reeked of body odor.

A flight attendant asked Noibi for his boarding pass and was surprised to see it was from a different flight and in someone else's name. She alerted authorities. When the plane landed, authorities chose not to arrest Noibi and allowed him to leave the airport.

But on Wednesday, Noibi was arrested trying to board a Delta flight out of Los Angeles -- again with an old boarding pass.

Noibi's next court date is scheduled for July 18.


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-- Richard Winton