DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Mark Randall Rayborn, age 56, of Lafayette, Colorado, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver today at 1:30 pm, on charges of making false threats aboard an aircraft, United States Attorney Troy Eid and FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Davis announced. Rayborn was arrested on October 16, 2008, without incident by FBI agents, but was then taken to a local hospital to receive medical attention. The indictment charging Rayborn was sealed pending his first court appearance. Rayborn had stated that he had C4 explosives in his bag on a Northwest Airlines flight.
Mark Randall Rayborn was charged in a sealed indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Denver on October 6, 2008. The indictment charges Rayborn with one count of making a false threat of explosive on an aircraft.
Specifically, on September 27, 2008, Rayborn did willfully and maliciously, with reckless disregard for the safety of human life, give false information to a passenger about possessing C4, an explosive, in his bag aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 552. The threat resulted in the isolation of the aircraft, and the deplaning and re-screening of all passengers.
If convicted, Rayborn faces not more than 5 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine for making false threats of an explosive on an aircraft.
“I’ll keep saying it: Alcohol abuse and commercial aircraft don’t mix,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid. “This time, the defendant claimed to have explosives – forcing every passenger to be re-screened – and must face the consequences.”
“The statement made by Mr. Rayborn on that Saturday night caused a massive disruption to DIA, Northwest Airlines and the passengers and crew of Flight 552,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis. “Thankfully, this was a hoax, no one was injured, and, now, the source of the disruption is being introduced to the federal judicial process.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Denver Police Department (DPD). The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was instrumental in re-screening the Northwest Airline passengers.
Rayborn is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Chief James Allison.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.