DENVER – Terrice Gay Hutchinson, age 53, of Denver, Colorado, was arrested without incident this morning by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for phoning in a bomb threat to Southwest Airlines. Hutchinson made her initial appearance where she was advised of the charges pending against her. Her next court appearance will be for a detention hearing on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 10:30 am. She was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on June 16, 2008. The indictment was sealed pending her arrest.
According to the indictment, on April 17, 2008, Hutchinson allegedly placed a telephone call to Southwest Airlines. She stated that her husband, a passenger booked on a flight from Denver to Las Vegas, had a bomb and was planning to blow up the airplane. The airline was able to investigate her threat without interfering with flight operations.
If convicted, Hutchinson faces a sentence of up to 5 years in federal prison, and not more than a $250,000 fine, for providing false information and threats concerning aviation transportation.
“No more of this,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid. “Threats involving commercial aircraft are totally unacceptable and will be prosecuted.”
“Prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado involving threats to commercial aircraft, interfering with flight crew, and in-air assaults aboard jetliners have more than doubled during the past year alone,” U.S. Attorney Eid continued.
FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis said, “Threats of any nature are not a game. As Mrs. Hutchinson has learned, there are consequences for your actions.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sibert.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.