Feds in Michigan charge airline co-pilot in alcohol case

A charter airline co-pilot accused of being drunk before a flight in northern Michigan has been charged in federal court.

Federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids filed a criminal complaint Tuesday, charging Sean Fitzgerald with trying to fly while under the influence of alcohol, a felony. He already faces a misdemeanor charge in Traverse City.

Police say a breath test on Aug. 25 showed Fitzgerald had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30, nearly four times the legal limit for driving. The Boca Raton, Florida, man worked for Talon Air. He was preparing to fly a plane to Massachusetts from Traverse City when he was ordered out of the cockpit.

A message seeking comment from defense attorney Patrick Fragel wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.