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Federal grand jury indicts man for alleged hijacker hoax

People in Spokane and others elsewhere can be punished for committing certain crimes such as murder, assault or theft. However, even people who falsely report crimes can face serious penalties.

A 58-year-old man was recently indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly claiming there was a hijacker aboard a flight bound for Washington.

The incident occurred last month. Authorities say the man called the Honolulu FBI office while he was on an Alaska Airlines flight from Hawaii to Seattle. FBI officials were allegedly on the phone with the man for two hours. Two military jets were called in and escorted the flight into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Officials determined that the call was a hoax. Although it is not clear how they identified the man, he was removed from the plane by federal officers.

Even though no one was harmed as a result of the incident, if convicted, the man could spend five years behind bars.

Being charged with a crime of any kind can be scary. Facing federal charges can be even more overwhelming. Although it may seem hopeless, defense strategies can be pursued to mitigate any potential penalties. In some instances, it may be wise for the accused to accept a plea bargain. Under a plea bargain, the accused may agree to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.

In these situations, it is usually best to rely on an experienced criminal defense attorney. After evaluating the case, an attorney can determine how to proceed forward.

Source: Komo News, "Charges filed in hijacking scare on Seattle-bound flight," Feb. 21, 2013

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