DENVER – 5 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Bill Leone, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Richard C. Powers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Denver Office, announced that MONTGOMERY JOE CARTER, age 37, a resident of Gerrardstown, West Virginia, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Edward W. Nottingham to serve 6 months in federal prison for interfering with a United flight crew and assault aboard the aircraft while it was in flight. CARTER was also ordered to pay $10,150 in restitution to United Airlines. Judge Nottingham ordered CARTER to report to an institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons within 15 days of designation.
CARTER was charged by Criminal Complaint on April 13, 2005. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 18, 2005. He pled guilty on June 17, 2005.
According to the stipulated facts set forth in the plea agreement, April 12, 2005 CARTER and his companion were passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 1475, which was scheduled to fly nonstop from Dulles International Airport to Las Vegas, Nevada. While the plane was en route the two got into a verbal altercation. The defendant then struck his companion’s head several times with both a closed fist and open hand, resulting in the flight attendants separating the two passengers.
Once the two were separated, CARTER continued to cause a disturbance. He yelled and walked the aisles looking for the victim. Flight attendants attempted to stop him, causing the defendant to push one female flight attendant into another female flight attendant who was 19 weeks pregnant. CARTER also approached the front of the plane, causing the flight attendants to block the cockpit door with a beverage cart.
According to the original FBI arrest affidavit, the pilot, after consulting with United headquarters, decided to divert the flight to Denver International Airport. The flight was met by officers with the Denver Police Department, where CARTER was taken into custody. Two FBI agents later interviewed those involved in the disturbance.
“A vast majority of crimes aboard aircraft are attributable to alcohol,” said United States Attorney Bill Leone. “People who fly and drink need to do so responsibly. If they drink too much that they cannot control their actions, this sentence should serve as a reminder that there are consequences.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Denver Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Suneeta Hazra.