TUCSON, AZ—Ivan Bugakov, 24, of Jacksonville, South Carolina, was arrested on May 28, 2012 and charged with false information and threats involving aircraft. That charge entails giving false information pertaining to an explosive device aboard an aircraft, knowing the information to be false, under circumstances in which the information reasonably may be believed.
The complaint alleges that Bugakov was on a U.S. Airways flight that was scheduled to depart Tucson on Monday, May 28, 2012, when he became loud, unruly, and belligerent. Because Bugakov allegedly refused to follow orders of the flight crew, the flight crew decided to taxi back to the gate and have Bugakov removed from the plane. While exiting the plane, Bugakov allegedly told the flight crew and fellow passengers that there was a bomb onboard. When confronted by airport police, Bugakov allegedly stated that he had a bomb in his carry-on luggage. All passengers were required to exit the plane and all luggage and passengers were re-screened. Bomb detection dogs were brought in to search for explosive devices, but none were found.
A conviction for false information and threats involving aircraft carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, the sentencing judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Airport Authority Police, and the Transportation and Safety Administration. The prosecution is being handled by Beverly K. Anderson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.