Florida Keys

A homeless man wanted a free plane ride. Instead he's getting a trip to prison.

Jamie Crabtree
Jamie Crabtree

A homeless man who tried to stow away on a commercial airline flight now faces up to five years in prison for the stunt.

Jamie Crabtree, 35, on June 3, 2015, jumped a barbed-wire fence at the Key West International Airport and entered a Delta plane by breaking the seals on a door to get a free ride.

Crabtree told police he had arrived in Key West on a Greyhound bus the night before.

A Delta employee found him curled up in a storage bin at about 6:15 a.m. the day after he had climbed into the storage bin.

“It was better than sleeping in a chair,” he told a sheriff’s deputy, who asked if he had been uncomfortable. “I slept very good in there.”

Crabtree said he needed to get out of the country because of a CIA conspiracy working against him. He mentioned Cuba but the flight was scheduled for a 7:10 a.m. departure to Atlanta. It was delayed for an hour before taking off.

Monroe County Judge Mark Jones will sentence Crabtree on June 28 for burglary of a conveyance, a third-degree felony.

A jury on May 24 convicted Crabtree after a half-day trial.

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