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Press Release

Airline Passenger Sentenced After Taking a Straight Edge Razor on a Plane

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

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Merrill Darrell Fackrell, 42, of Syracuse, Utah, was sentenced today to time served of over one year imprisonment, and three years’ supervised release by a U.S. District Court Judge as a result of a guilty plea. Fackrell admitted to taking a straight edge razor on a JetBlue flight in 2022. 

According to court documents, Fackrell admitted that on November 21, 2022, during a JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York en route to Salt Lake City Airport in Utah, he had taken a wood-handled straight edge razor with a one-to-two-inch blade on board the flight. In the statement in advance of plea, Fackrell further admitted that during the flight, he was seated next to a passenger and that he consumed several alcoholic beverages. Later in the flight, Fackrell told the passenger to pause the movie the passenger was watching, placed his hand in front of the screen, took the straight edge razor out of his carry-on bag and placed it inches from the passenger’s throat/neck. The passenger escaped, but Fackrell grabbed the passenger’s shoulder and attempted to stop the passenger. Another passenger observed the incident and convinced Fackrell to put the straight edge razor down. The passenger then took the razor off the seat and passed it off to be secured. See 2022 press release

“Carrying a dangerous weapon on an aircraft is a serious offense. No one should be put in harm’s way by another passenger during a flight,” said U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah. “In the interest of passenger safety, individuals who carry a dangerous weapon on an aircraft will be prosecuted.”

An FBI Task Force Officer with the Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Kennedy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah prosecuted the case. 


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237
USAO-UT | Facebook | Twitter

Updated February 15, 2024

National Security
Press Release Number: 24-21