A man pleaded guilty to making a hoax call warning of liquid explosives on a plane, and part of his punishment will involve making amends with the passengers on the aircraft who were delayed by his antics.
As part of a plea deal arranged Monday, Kenneth Smith Jr. will have to write "sorry" notes to the passengers on a flight slated to travel from Philadelphia to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on September 6, according to NBC News.
Smith, 26, admitted he placed a call to airport police, warning that one of the passengers on the flight, Christopher Shell, was carrying liquid explosives. The plane was diverted back to Philadelphia shortly after takeoff.
Smith could face as many as 15 years in prison for malicious false information about an explosive, and false information and hoaxes. Smith's lawyer, William Brennan, said the recommended sentencing is 12 to 18 months, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
In a "20/20" interview, Smith said he placed the call to get back at Shell for posting a naked photo on Facebook of a 19-year-old that both Smith and Shell had previously dated.
"20/20" also interviewed Shell, who said he posted the photo after the woman ended their relationship.
"The Facebook photo was there to say 'Hey. See you later. I had my fun. Bye.'"
Though Shell was cleared of any wrongdoing with regards to the explosives hoax, he was arrested after he arrived in Dallas on an outstanding marijuana possession charge.
Shell told NBCDFW that the arrest ruined his life.
"I was on pace to become a regional director of marketing and sales at my company by the end of this year, meaning I would have had a business up and running ... have a little more financial freedom to do the things we all want to do in life and enjoy,” Shell said. “That was all taken away from me because someone wanted to make a phone call."
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