Call about an campus lab explosion A hoax earlier this year has now been indicted in federal court against a former university employee, authorities said.
Jason Duheim, formerly of San Antonio, was working as a new technology manager and director of Immersive Media Labs at Northeastern University in Boston when he called 911 on Sept. 13, according to court records.
He told the dispatcher that he and a graduate student grabbed several packages from the mail and brought them to the lab, authorities said. Packages include two “Pelican cases”.
The 45-year-old man said that when he opened one of the plastic cases, “the material flew out” and injured his hand, according to the federal indictment. According to him, “very sharp” objects flew out of the case, which also had “a touch of violence.”
Several law enforcement agencies responded, and Northeastern University sent out warnings to avoid the area after the “explosion.”
But the explosion never happened, according to federal authorities.
Northeastern University did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.
An attorney for Duheim was not listed in court records as of Oct. 27 and could not be reached for comment.
First responders said they found the plastic case Duheime mentioned in his call on a table in the lab. It had no visible cracks, holes, or signs that it might have been the result of an explosion. There were also no traces of explosives.
Authorities found a threatening letter that specifically said, “In the case you received today, we could have planted explosives, but not this time!!! Pay attention!!! You have 2 months to stop operations or else!!!!! WE ARE WATCHING YOU.”
In an interview with authorities the same day, Daheim insisted that there had been an explosion. He also showed the agent “several small superficial marks on his forearms.” He said the cuts were from an explosion and added that “things were flying” out of the hull.
One of Duheim’s computers was seized and a “verbatim electronic copy” of the threatening memo was found in a backup folder, according to an Oct. 27 release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. . Authorities said Duhaime had set up the fake version of the blast.
When asked if he wanted to change his statement, Duhaime said no, adding that “I am honest. That’s what happened,” the court report says.
“Charges of knowingly providing false or misleading information related to explosives and making a materially false statement to federal law enforcement are punishable by up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000,” authorities said. .