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Pennsylvania man charged in hoax that led to plane's recall

Published September 7, 2012 1:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Philadelphia • A man is being released after being charged with a hoax threat that led authorities to bring an in-flight jet back to the Philadelphia airport.

A federal judge in Philadelphia agreed to release 26-year-old Kenneth W. Smith Jr. on personal recognizance Friday.

Smith is charged with conveying false and misleading information. Authorities say he called police Thursday and falsely reported a passenger was carrying an explosive substance.

Authorities then recalled a Dallas-bound US Airways flight to Philadelphia. Passenger Christopher Shell was taken off the plane by law enforcement officers, who later said Shell did nothing wrong.

Authorities say the fake threat was the result of a love triangle.

Shell was arrested in Texas late Thursday on outstanding drug possession warrants. He posted bond Friday and declined to comment.