Cook plane threat hoax: A Philadelphia pizza cook got 15 months in prison for making a false airplane threat to get back at a romantic rival.
Kenneth Smith, the cook, also has to apologize to 38 passengers who were impacted in the flight delay after agents swarmed the Philadelphia International Airport tarmac last year, reported NBC News.
He admitted to calling in a bomb hoax that involved a Dallas-Forth Worth-bound airplane. The plane was diverted back to Philadelphia.
Smith, 26, was described as lucky because “amazingly, no one was hurt that day. . .Smith’s crime unnecessarily put the lives of many people in danger,” federal prosecutors said.
He pleaded guilty on charges in January.
Federal prosecutors said Smith was attempting to “avenge” a woman who was once his girlfriend. He was angry after her former boyfriend posted an unflattering photo of her on Facebook.
“I wanted him to pay for what he did,” Smith told Philly.com. He used a payphone and a fake name to call in the bomb threat, saying that the ex-boyfriend had drugs and liquid explosives on board a United Airlines flight.
He later said that his threat was “completely moronic.”
“You’d be better off looking in the mirror and facing yourself than looking at Facebook,” U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter told Smith, noting that the tactic of ratting someone out smacked of middle school.
Defense lawyer William Brennan said his client understands the terror he caused — but had no terrorist intentions.
“He did it in part over the unrequited love of a young lady that he felt was wronged,” Brennan said after the hearing. The woman, who had attended an earlier proceeding, was not in court.
“Apparently, she moved on,” Brennan said.
Pratter told Smith that he should work towards getting his GED while in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.