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Conviction for former co-pilot charged with operating plane while drunk upheld

Sean Fitzgerald was convicted of operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol in September 2016. He is currently serving a year and one day in federal prison. (Courtesy: Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office)

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Michigan Appeals Court has upheld the conviction of a former co-pilot that was arrested in 2016 at Cherry Capital Airport.

In August 2016, Sean Fitzgerald, 35 of Boca Raton, Florida, was arrested after police said his blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit to drive a car.

Fitzgerald was an employee of Talon Air at the time of the incident.

Fitzgerald was charged in Grand Traverse County with a misdemeanor for being an aircraft crew member with a bodily alcohol content of .02 grams or more.

The county charge was eventually dropped.

Fitzgerald was federally charged with operation of a common carrier under the influence of alcohol in September.

In December of the same year, Fitzgerald's attorney argued that his federal charge should be dismissed due to the fact that the plane never left the ground.

A federal judge dismissed the motion to drop the charges in early 2017.

On October 13, 2017, Fitzgerald was sentenced to a year and one day in prison.

He was also given 3 years supervised release after he serves his sentence and was charged $5,600 in fines.

In January, Fitzgerald filed for his conviction to be overturned.

On Monday, the request was denied by the Michigan's Appeals Court.


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