A former Detroit Airport official is on the lam. James Warner, convicted of taking $6m in bribes and sentenced to 10 years in prison failed to report for his prison sentence is officially considered a fugitive.
52-year-old Warner, who hails from Commerce Township in Michigan was employed at the Detroit Airport where he was able to use his position of authority to influence and direct runway and parking construction projects towards a few companies. His reward? Over $6 million dollars in kickbacks for the effort.
According to the News-Herald, Warner was convicted of multiple charges in June of 2021 including, conspiracy, bribery, theft, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.
The crimes occurred between 2010 and 2014 and involved several co-consipirators including William Pritula and Douglas Earles who would falsify invoices and split profits. Both Pritula, Earles and a third conspirator, Gary Tenaglia, pled guilty to bribery and theft and have been sentenced to various lengths of time in prison already.
Robert Snell, a reporter for Detroit News, shares a wild story where Warner and Tenaglia met for dinner to discuss a kickback amount. After Warner wrote “$5k” on a napkin and slid it across the table to Tenaglia he then retrieved the napkin and ate it.
According to the Detroit News report, it was Tenaglia who ultimately helped bring Warner down as he was cooperating with federal law enforcement officials.
Although prosecutors sought a 25-year sentence, the judge ultimately gave Warner 10 years. Warner was supposed to report to an Ann-Arbor area prison to start serving his sentence but failed to appear.
He is now considered a fugitive.