NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Federal prosecutors have charged a Las Vegas man after authorities say he threatened to harm people on an airplane earlier this week and caused the flight to be diverted to a Nebraska airport.

Prosecutors in Nebraska say 23-year-old Maurice Paola had an initial court appearance Thursday. Paola faces one count of interfering with flight crew members and attendants.

Investigators say Paola was threatening to harm other passengers and crew members on the charter flight Monday and was throwing things at people, forcing the plane to land at Lee Bird Field in North Platte. The plane was headed to New York when it was diverted.

If convicted, Paola faces up to 20 years in prison. His next court appearance has been set for Sept. 10.