FBI Catches Russian Infiltrator

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The FBI has charged a Russian man for flying to Los Angeles without a passport or ticket. The man started his journey in Denmark on Scandinavian Airways, but was not on the flight manifest.

Once he arrived at the Customs and Border Protection checkpoint, agents could not find any trace of him and so detained him. His initial excuse was that he had forgotten his passport on the plane, but this was discovered to be a lie. The Guardian reports:

A Russian man who flew on a plane from Denmark to Los Angeles in November without a passport or ticket told US authorities he didn’t remember how he got through security in Europe, according to a federal complaint filed by the FBI. He has been charged with a federal crime.

Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava, 46, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on 4 November via Scandinavian Airlines flight 931 from Copenhagen. He initially told authorities he had left his passport on the airplane which he flew on. A US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer could not find Ochigava on the flight manifest or any other incoming international flights, according to the complaint filed 6 November in Los Angeles federal court.

The man was in the cabin during the flight, though how he made his way there without a ticket remains a mystery. He moved seats several times, requesting food from the crew and generally drawing attention to himself. The LA Times continues:

The man, identified as Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava, a seemingly gregarious flier who constantly shifted seats, spoke to several passengers, asked for two in-flight meals and even tried to snack on a cabin crew member’s chocolate bar during the more than 12-hour flight aboard Scandinavian Airlines Flight 931 on Nov. 4, court documents filed by federal prosecutors allege.

After an FBI investigation, Ochigava pleaded not guilty earlier this month to violating a federal law that prevents anyone from boarding or secreting themselves on an airplane or vessel without the consent of the owner or person in command.

His reason for entering the United State illegally are not known. While he could technically be an illegal spy, his tradecraft would qualify as poor if that were the case. The Southern Border would be the preferred method of entry for agents wanting to cause harm to Americans.

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