LANL employee traveling with fake device causes airport to shut down

-A A +A

Staff and Wire Report

ALBUQUERQUE — A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee told security officers he was transporting a fake bomb to a Department of Energy conference Sunday after the item caused a shutdown and flight delays at the Albuquerque International Sunport, according to news reports.

The security checkpoint at Albuquerque airport was shut down while authorities investigated the suspicious item, leaving dozens of travelers anxiously waiting to board flights.

Albuquerque International Sunport spokesman Daniel Jiron said an item left at the checkpoint around 1:45 p.m. raised suspicion and airport police were called.

Officers evacuated the checkpoint area as a precaution.

Jiron says arriving passengers were held in a concourse area and departing passengers are not allowed past the checkpoint. Jiron says roughly six flights were delayed as a result of the incident.

Jeremy Danielson, 40, of Los Alamos, told Transportation Security Administration officers that the “fake bomb” he allegedly tried to bring aboard a plane at the Albuquerque Sunport Sunday was an experimental device he was bringing to a Department of Energy conference.

According to news reports, Danielson was traveling on official business.

TSA officers examined the device and determined that it was harmless, but not after it’s discovery by officers triggered an evacuation of the immediate vicinity of the airport. Flights in and out of the airport were cancelled for several hours. The incident happened around 1:45 p.m. People were allowed back in the area around 3:30 p.m. Press reports said about six flights were delayed because of the incident.

Danielson knew that TSA workers were going to find the device as he put it in a backpack and submitted it to the X-ray machine, according to KOB Channel 4.

Danielson was released by Albuquerque Police on a $2,500 bond. He is due to make his first appearance in Bernalillo County Court Tuesday.