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Philadelphia man sentenced for calling in fake airplane hoax

Published On: Apr 23 2013 11:19:41 AM EDT

A Philadelphia man was sentenced Tuesday for calling in a hoax regarding explosives on an airplane at Philadelphia International Airport last September.

Kenneth W. Smith faces 15 months in prison for calling in the false claim on a U.S. Airways plane on Sept. 6, 2012.

Officials said 26-year-old Smith was targeting a male passenger on the flight from Philadelphia to Dallas, Texas, when he called police to falsely report that the man had carried liquid explosives onto the plane.


According to Smith's statement after his arrest, he did it to 'avenge' a woman that both men knew.

Because of Smith's hoax, the plane was turned around mid-air and returned to Philadelphia, where police stormed the plane.

Smith pleaded guilty on January 14 to charges of providing malicious false information about an explosive and false information and hoaxes.

In addition to the prison term, a U.S. district court judge ordered Smith to: 

* write a letter of apology to each of the passengers on the plane;

* pay restitution of more than $17,000 to US Airways, law enforcement and victims on the plane for costs associated with this crime;

* pay $200 in special assessments and 

* complete three years of supervised release, including 100 hours of community service per year.