Air traffic is seen on the runway at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, December 25, 2022. A Russian man who flew on a plane from Denmark to Los Angeles on November 4, 2023, without a passport or ticket, told US authorities. US that he did not remember how he got through security in Europe, according to a federal complaint filed in November by the FBI. PHOTO FROM AP FILE

LOS ANGELES — A Russian man who flew on a plane from Denmark to Los Angeles in November without a passport or ticket told U.S. authorities he did not remember how he got through security in Europe, according to a federal complaint filed by the FBI.

Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on November 4 via Scandinavian Airlines Flight 931 from Copenhagen. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was unable to find Ochigava on the flight manifest or any other incoming international flight, according to the complaint filed Nov. 6 in Los Angeles federal court.

He was accused of being a stowaway on an aircraft and pleaded not guilty at a December 5 arraignment. A trial has been scheduled for December 26. A federal public defender representing Ochigava, who remained in custody Tuesday, did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The crew told investigators that during the flight's departure, Ochigava was in a seat that was supposed to be unoccupied. After departure, he continued to wander around the plane, changing seats and trying to talk to other passengers, who ignored him, according to the complaint.

He also ate “two meals during each meal service and at one point attempted to eat chocolate that belonged to cabin crew members,” the complaint says.

Ochigava did not have a passport or visa to enter the United States, officials said. Customs and Border Protection officials searched her bag and found what “appeared to be Russian identification cards and an Israeli identification card,” federal authorities said in court documents. They also found a photograph on his phone that partially showed a passport containing his name, date of birth and passport number, but not his photograph, they said.

Ochigava “provided false and misleading information about his trip to the United States, including initially telling CBP that he left his U.S. passport on the plane,” the complaint says.

Scandinavian Airlines did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Ochigava told FBI agents that he has a doctorate in economics and marketing and that he last worked as an economist in Russia.

“Ochigava claimed that he had not slept for three days and did not understand what was happening,” the complaint said.

He told authorities he might have a plane ticket to come to the United States, but he wasn't sure. He also said he didn't remember how he got through security in Copenhagen and didn't explain what he was doing in the Scandinavian city, according to the complaint.


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