A 29-year-old Glendale man who was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport upon returning from Armenia on an outstanding $1.1-million arrest warrant pleaded not guilty this week to drugs and theft related charges, officials said.
The man, Alen Sogomonyan agreed to return after negotiating with U.S. Marshals and faces three felony counts related to stealing an access card and one an additional felony count of possessing a controlled substance stemming from a Sept. 17, 2009 incident in Glendale, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.
He was arrested Sunday without incident at LAX by U.S. Marshals Task Force officials upon his return from the Armenian capitol of Yerevan, according to Glendale police.
In agreeing to return, Sogomonyan cited his desire to live with his family here in the U.S., Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
Sogomonyan told investigators that surrendering would allow him to face charges and know “that one day he will have the opportunity to be with family again,” Lorenz added.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office filed charges and issued a warrant for his arrest in October 2009.
At that time, witnesses told police that Sogomonyan was allegedly driving erratically on the Golden State (5) Freeway near Western Avenue and crashing into walls.
Officers spotted him a short time later in a Del Taco parking lot on San Fernando Road and noticed severe damage to the entire passenger side of his BMW, police said.
Sogomonyan was allegedly pacing while “sweating profusely and gnawing his mouth” after complying with an officer’s request to exit his BMW, police said.
He reportedly told police that the reason he was acting nervous was because he had been involved in a crash.
When police asked Sogomonyan if he had anything illegal inside his car, he allegedly told them “no” and ran away. A brief chase ensued before he was caught and detained.
When officers searched the BMW, they found three balloons containing heroin, according to police. They also discovered someone else’s identification and Social Security cards, as well as credit and bank cards belonging to two victims inside his pant pocket, police said.
Sogomonyan was convicted in 2003 for making threats and kidnapping, according court records.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun