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Woman who authorities say made repeated attempts to sneak aboard flights gets 177 days in jail

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A woman who flew from San Jose to Southern California without a ticket was sentenced to 177 days in jail Wednesday after acknowledging that she violated her probation by returning to the Los Angeles airport.

Marilyn Jean Hartman, 62, was found wandering through airport terminals after a judge ordered her to stay away from the facility, said Frank Mateljan, spokesman for the city attorney's office.

While ordering the sentence, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Alan Rubin scolded Hartman for wasting law enforcement resources at an airport that accommodates more than 65 million travellers a year.

"Recently we had shootings here, somebody killed here at LAX. There have been in the past bombing attempts," Rubin said. "I want and I intend to have police resources to be used in those kinds of matters. Not this."

Hartman's public defender Larissa Cesareo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hartman previously made repeated attempts to sneak aboard flights at other airports, according to authorities.

Airport police spotted her at LAX without a ticket on Aug. 7, a day after a judge placed her on probation for two years for sneaking aboard the Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to Los Angeles.

At Mineta San Jose International Airport, Hartman tried at least three times to get to a plane before she finally went past a security screener who was busy checking a family's documents, law enforcement officials said.

Her boarding status was discovered once the Southwest flight landed in Los Angeles, the officials said.

Hartman later pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour count of wilfully and unlawfully entering Los Angeles as a stowaway on an aircraft. A judge ordered her to stay away from LAX unless she had a valid ticket.

Outside the courthouse last week, Hartman said she would never try to sneak onto a plane again. "It was stupid, and it is something I don't want to repeat," she said.

Still, Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said he had a feeling the woman "with a fixation on flying" would return to LAX, so police passed out fliers with her picture.

In February, Hartman was sentenced to 18 months' probation in San Mateo County after being arrested for attempting to board three Hawaii-bound flights at San Francisco International Airport on three separate days.

Her breach of security at the San Jose airport caused federal officials and the airline to launch investigations. It also prompted criticism of the airport in light of the trespassing of a teenage boy who stowed away in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight and survived an arduous journey to Maui.

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