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Press Release

Arrest for Man Threatening Flight Attendants

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Michael Easley announced that yesterday in federal court, an initial appearance was held for Michael Aaron Ganter after being charged with Interference with a Flight Crew and Flight Attendants by criminal complaint.  A probable cause and detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.

As described in the criminal complaint affidavit, on February 9, 2022, Ganter flew on a Frontier Airlines flight departing from LaGuardia Airport, New York.  The flight was scheduled to fly to Orlando International Airport, Florida.  According to statements from passengers and flight attendants, Ganter began making statements threatening violence to those on the flight and became increasingly disruptive during the flight.  Flight attendants requested assistance from other passengers, who restrained Ganter.  Due to Ganter’s conduct, the pilots diverted the flight to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and Ganter was taken to WakeMed for evaluation.  Upon his release from WakeMed, Ganter was arrested by special agents with the FBI.

Mr. Easley stated, “Passengers who threaten violence in the close confines of a commercial aircraft put everyone in danger.  My office will continue to aggressively prosecute federal crimes in the skies and ensure the safety of the flying public.  Safe air travel is essential to our economy and keeping families connected.  No passenger, flight crew, or flight attendant should have to fly in fear.”

 This arrest is part of an ongoing commitment by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina to do its part to prevent violence, intimidation, threats of violence, and other criminal behavior that endangers the safety of passengers, flight crews, and flight attendants on commercial aircraft.  The Attorney General’s press release about the Department of Justice’s guidance concerning criminal conduct on commercial airctaft is located here:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with the Raleigh-Durham International Airport Police, conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Brad DeVoe represented the government.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 16, 2022