Judge: No probable cause in fake bomb case

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Bad timing > LANL employee’s fake device shuts down security on anniversary of terrorist attack

By Tris DeRoma

A Metropolitan Court judge found there was no probable cause to support a charge brought against a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee Tuesday after he was accused of trying to take a fake bomb past airport security in Albuquerque Sunday.
The case against Jeremy Danielson, 40, did not meet the statute he was being charged with, according to his attorney, Dan Cron. The District Attorney could still pursue an indictment, but they would have to make a decision to take the case to the grand jury, Cron said.
“It’s unusual for a judge to make a finding like this early in the case,”  Cron said. “In order for anything else to occur it would take some affirmative action on the part of the District Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque. Basically they would have to make a decision to take the case to the grand jury. We’re hopeful that they will see this case the same way the judge did and they will not pursue this any further.”
Cron said Sunday’s incident that coincided with the 15th anniversary of 9/11 at the Albuquerque Sunport was a misunderstanding.
Danielson, who was on official business with the LANL, allegedly tried to bring a device that he knew might be construed as a bomb through airport security.
Shortly after Transportation Security Administration examined the device, the airport was shut down for several hours and Danielson was arrested. He was later released on a $2,500 bond.
Danielson reportedly told security officers what he had in his bag before he went through, as he had done many times before when traveling on lab business, Cron said.
“It was a lab approved, lab sanctioned trip,” Cron said. “He fully expected them (TSA officers) to look at it. He alerted one of those people that they are going to want to look at his package. It goes through, they look at it, and what happened.”
Danielson, along with a group of other LANL employees, were traveling to a Dept. of Energy conference in Washington, D.C. to show their device, which was a mockup.
LANL Spokesman Kevin Roark said he did not have any immediate information on what the device was supposed to be, but did confirm that he was traveling for the laboratory.
“Jeremy Danielson is a Laboratory employee who was on official business travel. All other questions should be directed to the FBI,” Roark said.
Cron said that the incident escalated because Danielson and his group were traveling on the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Other than that, it was just routine business. Danielson was one of four people heading to Washington, D.C. with the object, he just happened to be the one carrying it.
“It’s real common to have a demonstrative model to take along to show the people that they’re presenting to visually what it is they’re talking about,” Cron said.
Cron said his client was a victim of the hyper vigilance.
“I don’t watch much T.V., but to the extent of the T.V., I did watch, there were 15-year memorial shows all over the place. They were showing the planes hitting the towers and the towers collapsing, the rubble, all of the first responder stories, and I know at least for me it stirred up a lot of old emotion that I hadn’t visited for a while,” he said. “I think it was just a combination of things. If it had been any other day other than Sept. 11, it (Danielson’s arrest) may not have happened at all.”