Nevada Man Pleads Guilty To Interference With Flight Crew Members And Assault Aboard Aircraft En Route To Las Vegas

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

RENO, Nev. – A Gardnerville, Nevada man pleaded guilty on Monday to interference with flight crew members and assault during a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas.

Daniel A. Parkhurst (38) pleaded guilty to one count of interference with flight crew members and attendants, and one count of simple assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States. U.S. Chief Judge Miranda M. Du scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 24, 2022.

According to court documents and admissions made in court by Parkhurst, on October 31, 2019, he intimidated flight crew members and flight attendants on a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to Las Vegas. During the flight, he assaulted another passenger. The resulting disturbance involved flight attendants and other passengers, and interfered with the performance of the flight crew’s and flight attendants’ duties. Parkhurst’s actions caused the aircraft to be diverted from its flight to Las Vegas, instead landing in Reno.

The statutory maximum penalty is 20 years in prison for interference with flight crew members and attendants, and six months in prison for simple assault in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Acting Special Agent in Charge W.M. Herrington for the FBI made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Reno-Tahoe International Airport Police Department, Office of the Nevada Attorney General, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and Carson City Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randolph St. Clair and Penelope Brady are prosecuting the case.

If you think you are a victim of assault aboard an aircraft, please report the incident to your flight crew and to the FBI at www.tips.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or contact your local FBI office.

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