New mental exam sought in Kansas City airport hoax

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are trying to figure out what to do with a schizophrenic Pennsylvania man accused of trying to take fake bombs through security at Kansas City International Airport on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a motion filed Thursday prosecutors sought a new mental examination for Anthony Falco Jr., who is charged with making false statements and creating a hoax at the airport on Sept. 11, 2011. Repeated testing has found him not competent to stand trial and prosecutors have said charges might have to be dropped if that situation endures.

Prosecutors say an X-ray machine detected suspicious items in Falco's bag and he refused requests by security officers to examine it. The incident on a busy Sunday disrupted air traffic at the airport at a time of heightened sensitivity to security risks because of the 9/11 anniversary.

Prosecutors also requested Thursday that Falco, 49, not be returned again to Missouri from a mental facility in North Carolina until the court has ruled on the request.

Falco's mother told investigators that he had stopped taking medications for schizophrenia at the time of the airport incident. Prosecutors said he continued to refuse to take them while in custody, causing him to be ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Earlier this year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Hays ordered Falco returned to the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., to be involuntarily medicated. He took the medication but still was not competent to stand trial, according to the motion.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons issued a report Oct. 22, which was not disclosed to prosecutors until late November, saying that even with medication Falco "continued to exhibit persecutory delusions," prosecutors said.

The report concluded that Falco remained incompetent, adding "it is unlikely that continued treatment with antipsychotic medication would restore Mr. Falco's competency to stand trial in the foreseeable future."

An earlier evaluation determined Falco was not a danger to himself or others, which means he is not eligible for commitment to a mental institution.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City declined to comment on the motion, as did Falco's public defender, Laine Cardarella.

Cardarella said at a hearing earlier this year that based on federal guidelines, Falco likely would be sentenced to less than two years if convicted on both charges. He already has been in federal custody longer than that.

An FBI bomb technician said in an affidavit that Falco's baggage had all the earmarks of an improvised explosive device, including wires and power sources. The agent said he and seven other bomb experts looked at an X-ray photo of the packages and all thought there was a bomb.

A bomb squad later determined there were no explosives.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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