- Associated Press - Monday, July 18, 2011

SAIPAN, NORTHERN MARIANAS (AP) - Japanese rock musician Taiji Sawada, who faced charges of interfering with a flight crew, has died after being hospitalized in Saipan, authorities said. He was 45.

U.S. Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco said in a court filing requesting the dismissal of federal charges that Sawada died Sunday.

Police Commissioner Ramon Mafnas said Sawada was taken to Commonwealth Health Center’s intensive care unit Thursday night but he decline to provide other details, according to a report by the Saipan Tribune.

There was no immediate word from authorities on the U.S. commonwealth on the cause of death.

Earlier Thursday, Sawada appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands on the flight interference charge.

FBI agent Mary Goff said Sawada was arrested July 11 after he became unruly with the flight crew and had to be physically restrained during a flight from Tokyo to Saipan.

Sawada played the bass in the popular heavy metal band X and had recently formed his own band.


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