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Pa. man charged in birthday hoax that led to plane’s recall

Law enforcement officials work around US Airways flight PhiladelphiInternational Airport after plane returned airport Thursday Sept. 6 2012 Philadelphia. A

Law enforcement officials work around a US Airways flight at Philadelphia International Airport, after the plane returned to the airport, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Philadelphia. A security scare that prompted authorities to recall an airborne U.S. flight was the result of an apparent hoax, police said Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — 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.



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