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Kona man indicted in alleged hoax prompting hijacking scare

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A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted a 58-year-old Kona man for an alleged hoax that prompted a hijacking scare on an Alaska Airlines flight Jan. 17, the FBI announced.

Timothy David Hershman was indicted on one count of false information and hoaxes, with a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

The U.S. District Court will issue a summons for Hershman to appear in Honolulu federal court in the near future.

The FBI said the charges are related to a Jan. 17 phone call made to the FBI that prompted the unfounded hijacking scare on the flight from Kona to Seattle, said FBI spokesman Tom Simon in an e-mail.

The caller told the Honolulu FBI office that a man aboard the flight was a possible hijacker, Simon has said.

Two F-15 jets from the Oregon Air National Guard scrambled to escort Flight 819 in to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and authorities took a passenger off upon arrival.

Agents talked to the man for nearly two hours and he was not arrested.

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