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FBI charges woman who triggered jetliner scare

Posted at 4:14 PM, May 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-23 16:14:04-04

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – A woman whom federal officials blame for a security scare aboard a U.S.-bound jetliner has been charged with interfering with a flight crew, authorities in Maine said Wednesday.

Lucie Zeeko Merigot was booked into the Penobscot County jail on the federal charge late Tuesday, about 12 hours after US Airways Flight 787 was diverted to Bangor, Corrections Officer Graham Pearce told CNN. Court records did not indicate when her first court appearance would be held.

Federal officials said the flight from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina, was diverted as a precaution after Merigot claimed to have a device surgically implanted inside her. Doctors who examined her found no sign of recent surgical scars, however.

A federal law enforcement source who had been briefed on the matter told CNN she posed “basically no threat” and would probably receive a psychological evaluation.

Andrew Kobayashi, a passenger on the Boeing 767, said the woman was sweaty and “being a weirdo” during the flight. The crew told passengers the flight was landing in Bangor because of uncharacteristically strong headwinds that that required the plane to take on more fuel, Kobayashi and other passengers said. But after the jet landed, they said, one of the pilots apologized to passengers for the deception.

CNN’s Bill Mears and Aaron Cooper contributed to this report.