Woman sentenced for cruise ship bomb hoax

Story highlights

  • Linda Gayle Wilson admits calling in a false report of a bomb on a cruise ship, authorities say
  • The Carnival Fascination was thoroughly searched and nothing was found
  • Wilson was arrested more than 19 months after the incident

A Florida woman involved in a lover's quarrel has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after admitting she called authorities to report explosives and a terrorist were aboard a passenger ship cruising into a U.S. port, authorities say.

According to court documents, Linda Gayle Wilson, 46, made a series of calls to the Jacksonville, Florida, Sheriff's Office on May 9, 2010, and told officers that a female terrorist was carrying a bomb on board the cruise ship entering Jacksonville's port. She said the terrorist planned to detonate the explosives before the ship reached its destination.

It was later discovered that a passenger on board had been involved in a relationship with Wilson's ex-boyfriend, the court said.

The calls were later traced to Wilson's residence, where authorities arrested her on December 27, 2011, the FBI said. Wilson pleaded guilty on July 3.

Based on the information provided by Wilson in the phone calls, authorities determined the ship to be the Carnival Fascination, which was returning to Jacksonville's JaxPort Cruise Terminal. The ship had just completed a Mother's Day cruise of the Caribbean.

The ship was met in the port by a bevy of local and federal officials. Agents from the FBI's Joint Task Force, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, along with port security officials and the ship's crew, searched for the terrorist and her bomb, a statement released by the FBI said.

According to court documents, every passenger and cabin on the ship was searched, but no evidence of explosives was found.

The ship had 2,404 passengers and 896 crew on board when Wilson made the bogus threat.

TSA screeners put inspection notices in bags they didn't inspect

U.S. airlines report only one major delay in August

How to pay for your vacation

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.