Las Vegas man sentenced to prison for outburst on plane

December 28, 2019 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Las Vegas man was sentenced Friday to 18 months in federal prison for his behavior on a commercial flight last year that forced the plane to make an emergency landing in Nebraska.

Maurice Paola was sentenced in Lincoln’s federal court after he pleaded guilty in September to interfering with a flight crew, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. He had initially faced up to 20 years in prison after he was indicted on counts of assault and interfering with a flight crew.

Investigators had said Paola threatened to harm other passengers and crew members and threw items on the September 2018 charter flight from Las Vegas to New York. The flight crew barricaded themselves in the cockpit, and a flight attendant and other passengers on the 12-seater plane had to keep Paola from breaching the cockpit,

Paola’s outburst forced the plane to land in North Platte.