Man Arrested in Southwest Airlines Bomb Prank

8-10-05 - FBI agents on Tuesday arrested a San Antonio man accused of planting a note on a Southwest Airlines flight announcing falsely that a bomb was on the plane.

Elias Jeremiah Cervantez, 20, was charged Monday with making a false bomb threat to an aircraft. Cervantez confessed to FBI agents that he wrote the note on a gum wrapper, according to an affidavit signed by special agent Jamaal C. King.

"We were just making dumb jokes," Cervantez's roommate Josh Michael Gonzales said in Wednesday editions of the Houston Chronicle.

He said in a telephone interview with the newspaper that the two thought, "If somebody finds that, it's going to be funny."

A passenger on a Southwest flight from Dallas to Houston on Friday found the note in the seat pocket in front of her seat, the affidavit said. She alerted the crew, who taxied the plane to an isolated area of Hobby Airport and evacuated the passengers.

Airport operations were temporarily shut down while the threat was investigated. A bomb-sniffing dog and federal and local law enforcement officials searched the plane but no bomb was found.