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2017 US military plane crash: Engineer charged for obstructing justice

Robert Besser
8 Jul 2024

OXFORD, Mississippi: U.S. prosecutors said this week that a former engineer at a U.S. military air logistics center was arrested and charged with obstructing the criminal investigation into a 2017 military plane crash in Mississippi.

The crash killed all 16 service members aboard.

A news release from U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner stated that a federal grand jury in northern Mississippi indicted James Michael Fisher, 67, on July 2, leading to his arrest.

Fisher, who now lives in Portugal, made an initial court appearance in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a former lead propulsion engineer at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Warner Robins, Georgia.

The U.S. attorney's office in northern Mississippi said it was unaware whether Fisher had an attorney.

The Marine Corps KC-130T transport plane broke into pieces in the sky and slammed into a soybean field near Itta Bena, Mississippi, killing 15 Marines and one Navy corpsman on July 10, 2017.

Based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, the aircraft was taking Marine Special Operations forces from North Carolina to Arizona for training when it crashed.

According to the news release from Joyner, Fisher knowingly concealed engineering documents and made false statements to investigators about his engineering decisions that might have been related to the crash.

Fisher faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, with the federal prosecutor, announced Fisher's arrest.

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