Philadelphia man released on bail after airport hoax

The man who called in a bomb threat that forced officials to turn around a US Airways flight Thursday has been released on bail after his arrest on federal charges.

Authorities say 26-year-old Frank Smith of Philadelphia has been charged with conveying false information to law enforcement.

Smith made the call to the Philadelphia airport from a payphone, according to the FBI. A flight to Dallas was turned back around and police removed Christopher Shell from the plane.

The call was a hoax. Smith allegedly told police it was in retaliation for a picture Shell posted on Facebook of his former girlfriend whom Smith is dating now.

FBI Spokesman Frank Burton says Smith seemed respectful and attentive in court.

“Everything has a consequence,” Burton said. “And as far as this federal crime, the FBI takes these things seriously. You can’t go back and say this was only a joke.”

Meanwhile, the victim of the prank was detained for a second time when he hit the ground in Texas on outstanding drug charges. Shell also has been released on bail.

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