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Press Release

Man Who Interfered With Flight Crew On JetBlue Flight From New York To California Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – Marcus Covington, age 33, of New York City, New York, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 172 days (time served) for Interference with a Flight crew, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone announced.  Following his prison sentence, Covington was ordered to spend 2 years on supervised release.  While on supervised release the judge ordered that he not have any alcohol.  The defendant was also ordered to pay JetBlue, the victim, $4,170 in restitution for costs incurred in the unexpected landing in Denver.

Covington was first charged by Complaint on August 20, 2012.  He was then indicted by a federal grand jury on August 22, 2012.  He pled guilty on November 28, 2012, and was sentenced on February 7, 2013.

According to court documents, on August 19, 2012, Covington intimidated a flight crew member and a flight attendant on JetBlue Flight 677, an Airbus A-320, carrying approximately 150 passengers, which was flying from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Los Angeles International Airport.  Covington also groped a 27 year-old pregnant female.

As a result of his assaultive and intimidating behavior, an FBI special agent, who was traveling on the flight as a passenger, was asked by flight crew to assist in dealing with Covington.  Following consultation with the FBI agent and the Captain of JetBlue Flight 677, the Captain decided to divert the flight to Denver International Airport.  The FBI agent and another passenger sat next to Covington to keep him under control while the plane made this unscheduled landing.  While seated, the agent noticed Covington taking a number of unidentifiable pills.

Upon the aircraft’s arrival at the gate, Covington was escorted off the plane in handcuffs.  While Denver Police Department officers were attempting to get Covington to sit in a chair, he kicked at, and spit on them while threatening to kill them.

This case was investigated by the Denver Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Covington was prosecuted by James Allison, Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado.


Updated June 22, 2015