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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Monday, November 14, 2016

Men Convicted at Trial for Interfering with a Flight Crew are Sentenced

AMARILLO, Texas — Two men who were convicted after an eight-day trial in June 2016 on the felony offense of interference with a flight crew and aiding and abetting were sentenced today, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Jonathan Khalid Petras, 21, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to seven months in federal prison, and Wisam Imad Shaker, 23, was sentenced to five months in federal prison.  Judge Fitzwater also ordered them to pay $6,890 in restitution, jointly and severally.  They must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on January 3, 2017. 

At trial, the government presented evidence that on August 31, 2015, the defendants, both residents of the San Diego area, were aboard Southwest Airlines flight 1522, from San Diego to Chicago.  During that flight, the defendants, who were sitting together in two adjacent rows, repeatedly failed to comply with safety instructions, were loud and disruptive, screamed profanities at flight attendants when they were denied alcohol, and some of the men lunged and made other aggressive movements toward the flight attendants.

The flight was diverted to Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo so law enforcement could remove the defendants from the flight.

The FBI, the Amarillo Police Department and the Rick Husband International Airport Police investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Penley, Joshua Frausto and Amy Burch prosecuted the case.


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Updated November 14, 2016