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Philadelphia Man Pleads Guilty for False Explosive Threat at Airport

On January 14, 2013, Kenneth W. Smith pled guilty in connection with a hoax regarding explosives called in to airport authorities in September 2012.  In November 2012, Smith was charged with providing malicious false information concerning an attempt to destroy an aircraft.

Smith admitted that on September 6, 2012, he contacted the Philadelphia Police and falsely reported that a US Airways passenger en route to Texas possessed an explosive material with the intent to pass through security and board the aircraft. By the time the alleged false report was received, the aircraft had departed.  FAA air traffic controllers rerouted the flight in question back to Philadelphia International Airport where the passenger was removed from the aircraft, searched, and questioned. No explosive materials were found.

Smith faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.  He has agreed to reimburse emergency response agencies and pay restitution to the victims inconvenienced for his activities. 

This investigation is being worked jointly with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.