DENVER — The FBI arrested a Utah man on Monday after he allegedly wrote a false note about a bomb while he was aboard a United Airlines flight from San Diego to Denver.
Cameron E. Korth, 20, is charged with maliciously conveying false information in connection with the January 16 incident.
According to an affidavit, Korth claimed to have found the note, which stated there was a bomb on board, in a bathroom on the aircraft. The note further stated that the flight crew should not attempt to land, a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice said.
The flight crew notified authorities at Denver International Airport, including the FBI. The plane landed at DIA and was parked on an isolated runway, where the passengers were evacuated onto waiting buses. Denver police searched the plane using K-9s trained to detect explosives, but no explosives were found.
As part of the investigation into the incident, officials brought Korth to the Denver Police Office at the airport, where he was asked to make a written account of what happened on the flight. The officials investigating the incident noticed similarities between Korth’s handwriting in his written account and the handwriting on the note, the DOJ statement said.
A criminal complaint filed against Korth states that he agreed to speak with police after he had been read his Miranda rights and without an attorney present. The complaint said Korth acknowledged writing the note, taking it to a lavatory at the rear of the plane, putting it into a toilet seat cover dispenser and pointing it out to one of the flight attendants.
According to the complaint, Korth said “he was trying to get help for his problems and that it was an impulsive act with no thought process behind it” when an investigating officer asked why he did it.
Denver police said Korth’s criminal history includes arrests for emergency telephone abuse and falsely reporting or causing a report of emergency to fire, police or medical.
The charge of maliciously conveying false information carries a penalty of no more than 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.