Co-pilot guilty of operating plane drunk sentenced to prison - WNEM TV 5

Co-pilot guilty of operating plane drunk sentenced to prison

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -

A co-pilot convicted of being drunk while preparing for a charter airline flight has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

Sean Michael Fitzgerald was also fined $5,500 on Friday. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said Fitzgerald's behavior was "simply intolerable."

A Grand Rapids federal court jury convicted Fitzgerald in May of operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol.

The 35-year-old New Jersey man was arrested Aug. 25, 2016, at Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport while preparing for a Talon Air flight to Massachusetts. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.34 percent, which is 17 times the legal limit for flying a plane.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Fitzgerald apologized and said he's being treated for alcohol abuse.

Jonker ordered Fitzgerald to surrender to prison within 10 weeks.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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