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Joke was on air passenger: 6 months for explosives line

An airplane passenger received prison time for forcing an emergency landing because he joked about carrying explosives.

Richard Josephson, 38, of Elsmere, Del., pleaded guilty in December to endangering the safety of an aircraft. He was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison, as recommended by prosecutors in the plea bargain.U.S. District Judge Walter Rice said there was "nothing funny at all" about causing a plane to make an emergency landing. Rice also ordered Josephson to reimburse USAir the $40,653 spent to land and evacuate passengers.

According to court records, Josephson said, "Gee, be careful, that's where I keep my pipe bombs," as a flight attendant placed his bag in an overhead compartment during an October 1996 flight.