On Sept. 14, Jason Duhaime, the former new technology manager and director of the university’s Immersive Media Lab, reported being injured by shrapnel after opening a hard plastic case delivered to the lab. He also provided a typed note he claimed was in the package, which contained threats against the media lab and inveighed against virtual reality, describing it as a “government operation,” according to NBC10 Boston Investigators.
The report drew a large law enforcement presence to the campus and prompted state, local and federal investigations. It also resulted in the evacuation of a large portion of Northeastern’s campus and the cancellation of classes in six buildings near Holmes Hall, where Duhaime reported the explosion.
At a press conference Tuesday, U.S. District Attorney Rachael Rollins said that a “word-for-word” copy of the note Duhaime provided to law enforcement was found on his computer.
“This alleged conduct is disturbing to say the least,” Rollins said. “Our city, more than most, knows all too well that a report or threat of an explosion is a very serious matter and necessitates an immediate and significant law enforcement response given the potential devastation that can ensue.”
Duhaime was arrested outside his home in San Antonio Tuesday morning and was set to appear before a federal judge yesterday afternoon. According to court documents, Duhaime faces charges of “conveying false and misleading information related to an explosive device” and then lying to federal investigators.
“Northeastern would like to thank the professionals in the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Boston Police Department for bringing this investigation to a close,” the university said in a statement. “Knowing what we know now about this incident, we would like to make it clear that there was never any danger to the Northeastern community.”