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Man to apologize for plane bomb hoax

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia man whose hoax bomb threat caused a Dallas-bound plane to turn around must personally apologize to each passenger for the stunt, lawyers said.

Kenneth Smith Jr., 26, pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of malicious false information about an explosive, and false information and hoaxes, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, reported Tuesday. Smith called airport police Sept. 6 and said there were liquid explosives on board a US Airways flight that had just taken off from Philadelphia International Airport.

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As part of his guilty plea, Smith agreed to write a letter to each of the 69 passengers on board the plane, which was ordered to turn around while emergency responders checked the aircraft. Investigators said Smith called in the threat because his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend was on the plane.

Smith also agreed to pay restitution for expenses incurred by the airline and first responders. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000 when he's sentenced April 16.

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