Texas Man Who Left Bomb Threat Note on Plane Pleads Guilty

HOUSTON (AP) -- A man who admitted scribbling a bomb threat on a gum wrapper and leaving it aboard a Southwest Airlines plane pleaded guilty to a charge of interfering with an airline flight crew, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Elias Jeremiah Cervantez, 20, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 (euro207,245) fine when sentenced Dec. 30.

At a federal court hearing, Cervantez admitted he was on a flight from Dallas to Midland 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 subsequent flight.

The captain notified air traffic control, which ordered the plane to land at Houston's Hobby Airport. Police searched the plane and found no evidence of a bomb.

The plane was grounded for more than an hour, causing passengers to miss connecting flights.

Cervantez, of San Antonio, was tracked down the same day at the Midland International Airport.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press