A Florida college student pleaded guilty to calling in a phony bomb threat to the Long Beach Airport after he arrived too late to board his plane.
In his plea deal, Yechezkel Wells admitted he made the call to try to keep the plane from leaving. He told investigators he was upset that he wasn't allowed to board the plane and hoped the threat would cause a delay so he might have a chance to get on, authorities said.
Wells was arrested Aug. 26 shortly after he called 911 from a pay phone and said there was a bomb on a JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The 21-year-old, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to a felony count of conveying false information of a threat targeting an airplane.
He faces from probation to five years in prison at sentencing Jan. 29.
His lawyer, Donald Etra, said outside court that his client "apologizes to the passengers of JetBlue" who were delayed for about one hour while bomb-sniffing dogs searched the plane.
"This was a momentary gross lapse in judgment," Etra said. He did not say where Wells attended school.
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The flight was delayed for 50 minutes after its scheduled departure time to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., while authorities used bomb-sniffing dogs to check whether an explosive was on board.
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