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Man arrested in Florida for false bomb threat

DANIA BEACH — A New York man is learning the consequences of joking about bombs at airports.

Christopher James, 26, of Middle Island, N.Y., was arrested Monday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after joking to a ticket counter agent that he was carrying bombs in his luggage.

James was checking in his luggage at a Southwest Airlines ticket counter for a flight to Long Island, N.Y., when a ticket agent commented on the weight of his bag. James replied: “It is full of bombs.”

James was detained and his luggage was searched by a Broward Sheriff’s Office bomb squad detective and a bomb-sniffing dog. No explosive or hoax device was found in the luggage.

“We know reports and threats of bomb are invariably hoaxes but nevertheless they are taken seriously by the sheriff’s office, especially considering the country is under a high alert,” said Veda Coleman-Wright, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

“He apologized for it. He said he knows that it was a stupid thing to do but at the time he thought it was a joke,” she said.

James was charged Monday with making a false report of a bomb, a second-degree felony. He was held Tuesday at the Broward County Jail on $7,500 bond and faces up to 15 years in prison or fines of up to $10,000 if convicted.

James could not be reached for comment at the jail.

Associated Press