BOSTON (WPRI) — A former employee of Northeastern University was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury, accusing him of staging a hoax explosion on campus.
Jason Duhaime, 45, formerly of San Antonio, Texas, faces one count of intentionally conveying false and misleading information related to an explosive and two counts of making materially false statements to a federal law enforcement agent, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.
Prosecutors say Duhaime called 911 around 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 to report that he was injured by “sharp” objects from a plastic case he opened inside the Immersive Media Lab, which he previously managed. Duhaime also allegedly reported that the case contained an anonymous “violent note” directed at the lab.
The call prompted bomb squads to respond to the scene and the majority of the campus to be evacuated.
Police later found the case in question empty and undamaged, with no evidence that an explosive device had detonated inside it, according to court documents.
Authorities searched Duhaime’s office the following day and seized a computer, on which they reportedly found a word-for-word electronic copy of the note stored in a backup folder, which was found to have been created and printed the day of the incident.
Duhaime expressly denied the allegations that he faked the incident during questioning, according to prosecutors.
If convicted, Duhaime faces up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.