A man who admitted scribbling a bomb threat on a gum wrapper and leaving it aboard a Southwest Airlines plane pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of interfering with an airline flight crew, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Elias Jeremiah Cervantez, 20, of San Antonio, Texas, could get as much as 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing Dec. 30.
At a federal court hearing, Cervantez admitted he was on a flight from Dallas to Midland, Texas, on Aug. 5 when he wrote “Theres a bomb on the plane!” The note was left on a fold-down tray table and discovered by a passenger on a later flight.
The captain notified air traffic control, which ordered the plane to land at Houston’s Hobby Airport. Police found no evidence of a bomb.