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Former Woodbury man accused of setting airplane fire back in custody

The former Woodbury resident accused in 2008 of setting fire aboard an airplane is back in custody after being extradited by federal agents from Mexico.

Eder Haron Rojas, 22, appeared in United States federal court Thursday in Fargo after being a fugitive for more than two years, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Rojas was charged in 2008 with one count of setting fire aboard an aircraft - a charge stemming from a May 7, 2008, incident.

Rojas was working as a flight attendant on Compass Airlines flight 2040 from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan, when he allegedly started a fire in a rear lavatory.

The fire caused the flight - carrying 72 passengers and four crew members - to be diverted to Hector International Airport in Fargo for an emergency landing.

Rojas pleaded not guilty in June 2008. He was released from custody at the same hearing by a U.S. magistrate.

Federal prosecutors in the case argued that Rojas posed a flight risk, noting at the time that he was a citizen of Mexico, as well as a permanent United States resident.

A warrant was issued Sept. 24, 2008, charging Rojas with failure to appear in court.

Agents from the FBI and U.S. Marshals teamed up to recapture Rojas. He had been in the custody of Mexican authorities since his March 26, 2011, arrest in Colonia Vicente Guerrero in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

U.S. Marshals deputies flew to Mexico this week and transported Rojas back to Fargo Wednesday.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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