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Man Accused Of PHL Bomb Threat Pleads Guilty

(Kenneth Smith Jr., outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia last September.  Credit: CBS3)

(Kenneth Smith Jr., outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia last September. Credit: CBS3)

Molly Daly Molly Daly
Molly attended Hallahan High School, LaSalle College, and Temple...
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By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The 26-year-old Philadelphia man accused of phoning in a false bomb threat to Philadelphia International Airport last fall has pleaded guilty.

Kenneth Smith made the call on September 6th, saying a passenger on a flight bound for Dallas had a liquid explosive. The plane, which had already taken off, returned to Philadelphia, where it was met by authorities. Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams says the motive was revenge:

“The individual who was the target of this hoax telephone call then advised law enforcement officers that a confrontation had been brewing between himself and Kenneth Smith over a female.”

Now, Smith faces a maximum possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison, and a $500,000 fine.

“He is now a convicted felon, and as the judge advised him, he loses all of the rights that go along with a felony conviction. These are serious offenses, he is facing serious time, and people need to know that while they may think of this as a prank, it actually has tremendously serious consequences.”

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced April 16th.

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