DENVER – The man federal prosecutors say wrote a note threatening a bomb on a United flight from San Diego to Denver Monday appeared in federal court for the first time Wednesday afternoon to hear the charges against him.
Cameron Korth, 20, faces a charge of “maliciously conveying false information about explosive material.”
The federal criminal complaint says Korth confessed to an FBI agent at Denver International Airport that he had scrawled the note on a piece of paper he found jammed into his seat.
The complaint says he then he posted it in a lavatory toilet seat cover dispenser and alerted a flight attendant to the note.
United flight 231 safely landed in Denver.
Korth said he was suffering a panic attack. The complaint says he claimed “he was trying to get help for his problems and it was an impulsive act” and he didn’t think about what he was doing.
The bomb threat note stated: “THERE IS BOMBS (sic) ON UA 231 DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LAND,” the complaint says.
Denver Police Department officers searched the plane after it landed with bomb-sniffing dogs and didn’t find any explosives.
Because of the bomb threat, the jetliner was parked in an isolated area off the airfield and passengers were taken by bus to the terminal.
The complaint says Korth claimed “[h]e had a number of medical issues for which he was taking prescribed medications.” He added that he had a significant criminal history because he was dating and using drugs with a “stripper.”
The complaint says his criminal history includes arrests for false reporting and telephone abuse. Denver7 Investigates also found arrests for drug possession, DUI and weapons violations.
The federal charge of maliciously conveying false information about explosive material carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250 million fine and three years of probation once he’s released.
During the investigation, passengers were asked to write hand-written statements and one of the passenger’s handwriting closely matched that of the note.
Eventually Korth admitted to writing the note and was arrested Monday night, Denver7 Investigates learned.
Federal prosecutors asked in court Wednesday that Korth be held without bond. Korth’s attorney asked to delay the detention hearing which is scheduled for January 23.
The flight had 149 passengers and five crew members.
Jace Larson is an award-winning investigative reporter for Denver7 Investigates. If you have a story idea or a tip for Jace, email or text him at email@example.com or 720-270-1468. You can remain anonymous. Connect with Jace on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.