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Hephzibah man pleads guilty to Augusta airport threat

Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 12:18 PM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 1:38 AM
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A Hephzibah man has pleaded guilty in federal court to threatening to destroy a plane at Augusta Regional Airport.

Evidence at a hearing showed that James Michael David Leach, 23, sent texts to an acquaintance before he boarded the aircraft that he was going to “have fun taking the pilot out.” He later made references to destroying the plane, according to a news release.

Leach reportedly said later that he sent the texts on March 10 for “shock value.”

Those threats were passed on to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, who delayed the US Airways flight for a security sweep before it departed to Charlotte. Leach remains in custody pending sentencing and faces up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release.

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