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A man accused of breaching airport security when he used an expired boarding pass to get a free ride on a Los Angeles-bound flight from New York pleaded not guilty Monday to a stowaway charge.
Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge and entered his plea. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of being a stowaway and attempting to enter a secure area of an airport by fraud or false pretense.
Noibi remains in federal prison while he awaits trial.
Noibi, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Nigeria, boarded a flight in New York on June 24 using an expired boarding pass with someone else's name on it, authorities said. The Virgin America crew didn't realize until mid-flight that an extra passenger was onboard in a premium seat that was supposed to be empty.
Noibi spent several days in Los Angeles and was arrested when he tried to board a Delta flight with another expired pass, authorities said.
Investigators still have not said how Noibi got past security at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Alon declined comment outside of court.
Noibi told federal investigators he was able to go through security screening in Los Angeles by presenting a boarding pass, his student identification and a police report that said his U.S. passport had been stolen, according to court documents.