Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Federal Charges Filed Against Woman Who Made False Bomb Threat to Airline on 9/11
LAS VEGAS—A local woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for intentionally conveying false and misleading information to U.S. Airways on September 11, 2010, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Miki Victoria Sudo, 25, of Las Vegas, is charged with one count of conveying false information under such circumstances where the information may reasonably have been believed. Sudo surrendered to federal authorities in Las Vegas this morning, and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in court before United States Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston at 3:00 p.m. today. Sudo is charged under a relatively new federal law which went into effect in December 2004. If convicted, Sudo faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sudo allegedly called U.S. Airways on September 11, 2010, and intentionally conveyed false and misleading information that her boyfriend, a passenger on Flight 399 from Las Vegas to Phoenix, was going to “blow up the plane.” Approximately 10 minutes after Flight 399 departed McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, the pilot reported mechanical issues and the plane began returning to the airport. As the plane was returning, the pilot received information about the bomb threat. The plane landed at McCarran, and because of the bomb threat, it was diverted to a secure area where all of the passengers were made to deplane and undergo screening. The checked baggage was also emptied from the plane and checked to ensure that no explosives were on board.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and the Federal Air Marshal Service, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Damm.
An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.