Former Northeastern College expertise supervisor convicted of staging hoax explosion in 2022 – Boston 25 Information

BOSTON — A former Northeastern College expertise supervisor has been convicted by a federal jury of staging a hoax explosion in 2022 and making false statements to a federal legislation enforcement agent.

Jason Duhaime, 46, previously of San Antonio, was convicted Friday of deliberately conveying false and deceptive info associated to an explosive system and two counts of constructing materially false statements to a federal legislation enforcement agent, Appearing U.S. Legal professional Josh Levy mentioned in an announcement.

U.S. Senior District Court docket Choose William Younger scheduled sentencing for Oct. 2.

Duhaime was initially arrested and charged by prison criticism on Oct. 2, 2022, and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 27, 2022.

“Bomb hoaxes just like the one the defendant fabricated right here have actual life penalties. Communities are put in concern, legislation enforcement personnel are diverted from different vital duties and there are important monetary repercussions,” Levy mentioned. “As we expertise a wave of bomb hoaxes in colleges, homes of worship and different gathering locations, we are going to work carefully with our native, state and federal companions to carry accountable anybody who tries to inject concern and misery into our group.”

Jodi Cohen, Particular Agent in Cost of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Boston, echoed Levy’s phrases, saying that, “Staging a hoax explosion and mendacity to the FBI about it isn’t a innocent act. It’s a criminal offense.”

“The FBI and our companions take all threats to life critically as a result of defending human life is our absolute precedence. Anybody who pulls a stunt like this could anticipate the FBI to research and you need to think about whether or not you actually need to find yourself the place Jason Duhaime is now awaiting sentencing for 3 federal felonies,” Cohen mentioned.

As of September 2022, Duhaime labored as the brand new expertise supervisor and director of the Immersive Media Lab at Northeastern College.

At roughly 7 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2022, Duhaime known as Northeastern Police and reported that he was injured by sharp objects expelled from a plastic case he opened contained in the lab that night, Levy mentioned.

Particularly, Duhaime advised an emergency police dispatcher that he and a Northeastern pupil who was working within the Lab that night had collected a number of packages—together with two plastic “Pelican circumstances”—from a mail space and introduced them into the Lab, prosecutors mentioned.

Duhaime mentioned that when he opened one of many circumstances inside a storage closet, “very sharp” objects flew out of the case and below his shirt sleeves, inflicting accidents to his arms. Prosecutors mentioned Duhaime additionally reported that the case contained an nameless “violent notice” threatening to “destroy the lab” and stating: “Within the case you bought right this moment we may have planted explosives however not this time!!! Take discover!!! You will have two months to take operations down or else!!!!! WE ARE WATCHING YOU.”

Duhaime’s report and concern a few second, unopened Pelican case triggered “a major legislation enforcement response” that included the Boston Police Division’s bomb squad, a number of federal and state legislation enforcement businesses, and the evacuation of a portion of Northeastern’s campus, prosecutors mentioned.

Additionally, on each Sept. 13 and 14, 2022, Duhaime gave statements to investigators and first responders that have been per what he advised the emergency police dispatcher. He denied fabricating his story in regards to the Pelican case, the nameless risk letter, and the accidents to his arms, prosecutors mentioned.

On Sept. 14, 2022, throughout a search of Duhaime’s workplace at Northeastern, a number of laptop computer computer systems have been discovered. Prosecutors mentioned a subsequent forensic examination of one of many computer systems confirmed a word-for-word digital copy of the nameless risk letter that Duhaime claimed was contained in the Pelican case.

Based on proof offered through the trial, this digital copy of the risk letter was created and printed between roughly 2:50 p.m. and three:56 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2022 – simply hours earlier than he reported the incident to Northeastern Police.

The costs of deliberately conveying false and deceptive info associated to an explosive system and making materially false statements to a federal legislation enforcement agent every present for a sentence of as much as 5 years in jail, as much as three years of supervised launch and a high quality of as much as $250,000.

It is a growing story. Verify again for updates as extra info turns into out there.

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