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Love Triangle Leads To Philly Plane Hoax [VIDEO]

A love triangle is what authorities are blaming for a midair explosives scare that led to an aborted flight and a man being taken into custody twice in two states.

Kenneth Smith
Kenneth W. Smith (WCAU TV)

The case of Christopher Shell began Thursday in Philadelphia, apparently triggered by a Facebook photo he posted of his ex-girlfriend and fueled by his feud with her and her new boyfriend. It ended Friday in Texas.
FULL COVERAGE: Philadelphia Plane Hoax

Within that time, police recalled Shell’s Dallas-bound flight and marched him off the plane at gunpoint; Shell cleared his name; authorities arrested the new beau, Kenneth W. Smith Jr., on charges of making a hoax threat about Shell and explosives; and Shell finally reached Texas, but then was arrested there on drug charges.

Both Shell and Smith posted bonds Friday in their respective cases.

A federal judge has released Smith on $250,000 personal recognizance bond Friday night but has been ordered not to have any contact with Smith according to WPVI TV. He must maintain his job working at a pizza restaurant in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond section and report daily his whereabouts. Smith also may not apply for a passport.

Smith’s roommate tells WPVI TV he is “blown away by the stupidity” of calling in a hoax given that the anniversary of 9/11 is days away. His lawyer, William Brennan, says Smith is “embarrassed” by the incident and has no prior record.

Shell, meanwhile, was charged with having less than two ounces of marijuana and less than 28 grams of a controlled substance. WPVI TV reports he served two months in jail on a robbery charge in Clifton.


The Associated Press contributed to this report

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