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Texas man indicted for false bomb scare at Northeastern University

WWLP Springfield logo WWLP Springfield 10/27/2022 Amy Phillips
Texas man indicted for false bomb scare at Northeastern University © Provided by WWLP Springfield Texas man indicted for false bomb scare at Northeastern University

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– A federal grand jury in Boston has indicted a Texas man for allegedly filing a false report about an explosion at Northeastern University and lying to investigators.

Jason Duhaime, 45, formerly of San Antonio, was indicted on 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. He was arrested and charged by criminal complaint on Oct. 4, 2022.

Northeastern employee accused of faking campus explosion

The indictment alleges that Duhaime, who at the time was employed as the New Technology Manager and Director of the Immersive Media Lab (the "Lab") at Northeastern University, placed a 911 call at approximately 7 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2022, to report that he was injured after opening one of two "Pelican" cases he had collected from an on-campus mail area earlier that day, "very sharp" objects flew out and under his shirt sleeves, causing injuries to his arms and that the case contained an anonymous "violent note" directed at the Lab.

Because of the 911 call and concern about the second unopened "Pelican" case, a large response was initiated that included the assistance of two law enforcement bomb squads and the evacuation of a large portion of Northeastern's Boston campus. Numerous campus-wide alerts were also issued by the Northeastern University Police Department, one of which described an "explosion" on campus.

Court documents also cite that responding law enforcement observed that the case described by Duhaime was empty and undamaged. Neither the case nor the letter that he said was inside showed any sign of an explosion. The storage closet appeared normal and investigators did not find any debris to support an explosion.

Duhaime allegedly provided statements about the incident that were consistent with his report to the 911 operator and he denied making up the incident. Forensic analysis of one of the computers seized during a Sept. 14, 2022 search of his office at the school allegedly revealed a word-for-word electronic copy of the letter stored in a backup folder. According to court documents, the metadata associated with this file reflected a "Created Date/Time" of Sept. 13, 2022, at 2:57 p.m. and a "Last Printed Date/Time" of Sept. 13, 2022, at 4:02 p.m.

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