By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the 11th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, last week’s U.S. Airways hoax was yet another reminder of how sensitive aviation security has become.
A feud involving two men and one woman playing out through text messages and Facebook is one thing but authorities were not pleased to have to deal with this.
PHOTOS: PHL Security Hoax
John Gagliano, an attorney with Philadelphia based Wolk law firm says the hoax caused law enforcement to scramble their resources unnecessarily, but they had to do their jobs.
“The authorities don’t have any leeway but to take these threats incredibly seriously, because as we saw on 9/11, the safety of the entire country is at risk.”
Gagliano cites a 1999 case out of California. A man was convicted of calling in a fake threat to an airport so his girlfriend would make a connecting flight. That man was sentenced to 10 months in jail.
Kenneth Smith, in this recent incident, could face up to a decade behind bars and owing thousands in fines or restitution.