April 28th, 2010
06:11 PM ET

Competency tests ordered for suspect in flight diversion

[Updated at 6:06 p.m.]  A federal magistrate ordered a competency evaluation Wednesday for the former Air Force intelligence specialist accused of making false bomb threats that diverted an international commercial flight.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret J. Kravchuk ordered the evaluation at the request of the public defender representing Derek Stansberry at a short hearing in Bangor, Maine.

Read the full CNN.com story


[Updated at 1:48 p.m.] The man accused of causing a Delta Air Lines flight to be diverted after claiming to have explosives on board is facing charges related to that claim and interfering with a flight crew, according to court documents released Wednesday.

The affidavit supporting the federal complaint says Derek Stansberry passed a note to the flight attendant on Delta Flight 273 Tuesday saying that he was not an American citizen and had a fake passport and other false documents.

Stansberry is a former Air Force intelligence specialist, military officials said. He was scheduled to appear in federal court in Maine on Wednesday.

[Posted at 9:01 a.m.] Derek Stansberry, the passenger whose alleged claim that he had explosives on board a plane forced it to land early, told authorities he had taken a sleeping pill, a federal law enforcement source told CNN Wednesday.

Stansberry served in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence specialist for four years, Air Force officials said.

Delta Air Lines Flight 273, which was heading from Paris, France, to Atlanta, Georgia, was diverted to Bangor, Maine, on Tuesday afternoon after the man made the explosives claim, law enforcement officials said.

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soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Derek

    Ok, for everyone saying this article is short because he's not Muslim...the story is about how he took a sleeping pill...what more do you want them to say?

    April 28, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. d1120

    Until we put these idiots in jail for a while, to deter, this will keep happening. They always have an excuse...sleeping pill, drunk, tired, yada, yada,,,,there should be NO EXCUSE !

    April 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Earl Wilson

    Anyone taking more than what a MD prescribes is very bad idea, especially on a flight. However I am a long term user of Ambien and I must say that it keeps me on a regular sleep schedule. My jobs includes international travel and without Ambien the long travel would not be possible; the drug has helped me maintain and endure 16+ hours for a flight.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
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