Police Charge Airplane Passenger After He Allegedly Makes Bomb Threat Onboard, Says He’s Afraid Of ‘Powerful Cartel’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Julianna Frieman Contributor
Font Size:

Police charged an airplane passenger Wednesday after he allegedly made a bomb threat onboard.

A 38-year-old male suspect diverted an Alaska Airlines flight bound for Seattle to Spokane after making a bomb threat because he feared a “powerful cartel,” according to court documents cited by The Seattle Times. Officers charged Brandon Scott with providing false information and orchestrating a hoax, the outlet reported.

The Alaska Airlines flight left Atlanta at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday with Scott sitting in first class, according to The Seattle Times. After takeoff, the suspect allegedly gave a flight attendant a handwritten note claiming his carry-on contained heavy homemade explosives and that he was wearing a detonator. (RELATED: Target Stores Hit With Bomb Threat Claiming Company ‘Betrayed The LGBTQ+ Community’)

The note reportedly threatened the lives of the plane’s passengers and demanded the aircraft be rerouted to “any other airport,” according to the outlet. It also allegedly directed the flight attendant to alert the pilot and air traffic controllers, but explicitly said not to tell anyone else on the plane.

The suspect wrote that he would “peacefully” surrender once the plane was rerouted to another location, The Seattle Times reported. The plane allegedly changed direction and landed in Spokane after the flight attendant contacted the captain and co-pilot.

Officials reportedly detained Scott after the plane touched down in the early evening. A bomb squad subsequently searched the aircraft but did not find any explosives onboard, according to the outlet.

The suspect reportedly claimed he drank two shots of vodka in the air, but investigators determined he was not intoxicated, according to The Seattle Times. He allegedly told investigators the bomb threat was false because he “hoped” to be arrested. Scott also said members of a “powerful cartel” awaited his arrival in Seattle because they wanted to kill him, according to court documents cited by the outlet. He reportedly said he did not consider calling law enforcement for assistance.

It is unknown why Scott allegedly believed a cartel was targeting him.

Scott is being held in the Spokane County Jail, according to The Seattle Times. He could face up to five years in prison, with a potential $250,000 fine.