Northeastern University Bomb Hoax: Former Lab Manager Convicted of False Threats and Deceit


In an extraordinary case of treachery and deceit, Jason Duhaime, a former lab manager at the well-known Northeastern University, was found guilty of presenting a dramatic hoax explosion at the Boston-based campus. Adding more fuel to the fire, Duhaime made an attempt to wriggle out of the situation, falsely fabricating information to a federal agent investigating the matter.

Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, the 46-year-old man was handed down a conviction for three separate offenses by a federal jury this past Friday. On the line for Duhaime — who worked as the University’s director of the Immersive Media Lab and new technology manager — are the weighty consequences of a maximum prison sentence of five years and hefty fines reaching up to $250,000 for each individual count.

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The case took a significant turn in January when Duhaime’s representing attorneys made the decision to step back, pulling themselves out of the case, as revealed in court documents obtained. The public defender who was chosen to replace them was not immediately available to make a comment on Saturday.

The hoax orchestrated by Duhaime kicked off in September 2022 when he dialed the university’s emergency line. In his call, Duhaime claimed to have gathered several packages from the mail area, including two staunch Pelican hard plastic cases. As per his account, an explosion triggered by opening one of his packages resulted in sharp objects flying out and causing injury to his arms.

The gravely concerning 911 call made by Duhaime sprang into action an immediate and intensive response from law enforcement. An evacuation of the area was conducted, and the bomb squad was quickly on the scene. Duhaime even presented police with a letter which he claimed to have uncovered inside the suspicious case. The letter alleged a conspiracy, asserting that the lab was endeavoring to encourage people to inhabit a virtual reality world, tied up in secrecy with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the U.S. government.

However, the tale spun by Duhaime began to crumble under scrutiny. The FBI’s investigation found several suspicious inconsistencies. The cases carried no explosives, and the threatening letter was in an implausibly perfect condition. Despite his claims of injury, Duhaime’s harm was merely superficial with no damage observed on his shirt sleeves. Upon digging into Duhaime’s computer, agents unearthed a matching copy of the aforementioned letter saved in a backup folder written mere hours before the 911 call was placed.

These hoaxes are far from harmless pranks, noted Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy. They evoke fear within communities, divert law enforcement from crucial duties, and bring significant financial costs. He pledged to combat this wave of bomb hoaxes affecting schools, worship houses, and other gathering places with the full force of local, state, and federal partners.

Northeastern University, a private institution boasting over 18,000 undergraduates and 22,000 graduate students, is now grappling with Duhaime’s actions and awaits his sentencing scheduled for October 2.