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YouTuber headed to federal prison after he intentionally crashed airplane for clicks, cleaned up the wreckage: Prosecutors

A YouTuber who intentionally crashed a plane, cleaned up the wreckage and then lied to investigators will serve time in federal prison.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter sentenced Trevor Jacob, 30, to six months in prison after Jacob pled guilty last June to charges of destruction and concealment with intent to obstruct a federal investigation. announced that it had won. press release From the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Jacob, YouTube pilot and former Olympian snowboarderstarted YouTube channel Since launching 15 years ago, we’ve gained more than 140,000 subscribers. His channel has also attracted sponsors such as companies selling various products such as wallets.

Federal prosecutors say Jacob agreed to promote the company’s wallets in videos on his channel. But the video he made wasn’t about wallets at all.

Instead, Jacob took off from Lompoc City Airport on November 24, 2021, on a solo flight with a destination of Mammoth Lakes. There were several cameras on the plane, and Jacob also had a video camera and a selfie stick.

About 35 minutes after takeoff, Jacob, an experienced skydiver who was already donning a parachute, said, “The engine stopped.” He started swearing profusely, opened the door of his plane, and looked nervously at the ground below. He immediately evacuated the plane and crashed it in a remote area of ​​the Los Padres National Forest.

After landing in a dry thicket of poison oak, Jacob wandered for hours, first locating the plane and then desperately searching for water and safety. After sunset, he finally found the ranchers and rescued him.

Jacob documented his journey through that harrowing episode. That video, titled “I Crashed My Airplane,” is still posted on his Trevor Jacob YouTube channel and can be seen below.

Jacob also reported the accident to the National Transportation Safety Board two days after it occurred. At that time, he provided the NTSB with “coordinates of the crashed plane and video of the crash,” and agreed to preserve the wreckage for the NTSB to examine, the press release said. The FAA immediately began an investigation.

Despite promises not to touch the wreckage, a few weeks after the crash, Jacob and a friend discovered the crashed plane by helicopter. Straps were then used to secure the plane to the helicopter for final transport to Jacob’s hangar at the Lompoc City Airport. There, Jacob systematically dismantled the wreckage and loaded it all at once into various dumpsters at airports and elsewhere “for the purpose of obstructing the investigation of the Nov. 24 plane crash by federal authorities,” the press release claimed. .

Jacob then lied and said he didn’t know where the crash site was. He also falsely reported the accident and misled investigators by telling them he had to parachute out of the plane because he couldn’t find a safe place to land.

In other words, Jacob got into a self-inflicted mess and lied to cover it up. He admitted as much in a video titled “”.I got my pilot license back! But going to jail…In the video, Jacob said that at one point he was facing five felonies, each carrying a 20-year sentence.

He also called himself a “stupid” for performing the stunt and said he felt “terrible” about it as soon as he hit the ground. “I screwed up,” he said. He also added that he is paying a high price for his mistakes. But he also said his motive for fabricating the plane crash was not to “make money” or “get online views” as claimed in the press release, but rather as a “bucket list” dream. It was also shown that the purpose was to realize the

Whatever the reason, Jacob will serve six months in prison in the interest of justice and to deter other daredevil YouTubers from making similar attempts. “Apparently [Jacob] “He exercised extremely poor judgment in committing this crime,” prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum.[Jacob] They likely committed this crime to generate social media and news coverage for themselves and for financial gain. Nevertheless, this type of “reckless” behavior is unacceptable. ”

Jacob’s attorney did not respond. CNNThis is a comment request from .

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