Apparent hoax victim arrested upon arrival at DFW Airport

Apparent hoax victim arrested upon arrival at DFW Airport

Credit: WFAA

Chris N. Shell, 29, was arrested by D/FW Airport Police Thursday night in Terminal E as he arrived on a 6:10 p.m. U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia, said David Magana, airport spokesman. Shell faces more than one warrant from more than one municipality, Magana added, but he would not reveal what the warrants are for or which agencies issued them. A flight bound for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was forced back to Philadelphia International Airport Thursday morning due to a call of an explosive threat on the plane. Officials boarded the plane when it landed and Shell was taken into custody for questioning. Police later said the threat they received was a hoax.

Print
Email
|

by JASON WHITELY

WFAA

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 10:56 PM

DALLAS - Christopher N. Shell, 29, was arrested by D/FW Airport Police on Thursday night in Terminal E as he arrived on a 6:10 p.m. U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia, said David Magana, airport spokesman.

Shell faces more than one warrant from more than one municipality, Magana added, but he would not reveal what the warrants are for or which agencies issued them.

They’ll be included on the police report to be released on Friday, Magana said.

This was Shell's second flight of the day. Early Thursday morning, he boarded another U.S. Airways flight in Philadelphia but a half hour into the ride, the FBI summoned the jet back.

A man called Philadelphia's 911 center, using a fake name and address, and told the operator that Shell was on that early morning U.S. Airways flight bound for D/FW and carrying liquid explosives.

The pilot returned to the Philadelphia airport back but didn't tell passengers why.

"I'm not going to lie," Shell posted on Facebook. "I'm pretty disappointed in US Airways currently. We just spent a half hour in the air to be notified that the plane, "has technical difficulties" and had to fly back! "

Minutes later, Shell discovered he was the real reason why the flight got diverted when police pulled him off the jet at gunpoint.

Philadelphia Police Chief Joseph Sullivan said investigators eventually discovered Shell was a victim of a "pretty nasty trick."

Within hours, the FBI had Shell's ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in custody and questioned them about the bomb threat hoax.

"Worst case, they're facing up to ten years in prison," said Paul Coggins, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Coggins said if the couple is charged, they could each face up to a decade in prison for making a bomb threat hoax to mass transit and possibly conspiracy, as well.

"A prosecutor has a huge amount of discretion here running all the way from no charges to federal felonies - each carrying a five year statute," Coggins added.

Shell, originally from Tarrant County, is currently living in Philadelphia and working as an electricity salesman.

Print
Email
|