ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Los Alamos National Laboratory employee is facing felony charges after security officials at the Albuquerque International Sunport thought a mock-up of a technical apparatus was a bomb.

Jeremy Danielson was headed to Washington, D.C., on Sunday to present the technology at a Department of Energy conference. Transportation Security Administration officials shut down the airport as they believed the device was a fake bomb.

Danielson now faces a fourth-degree felony of having a facsimile or hoax bomb or explosive. The criminal complaint accuses Danielson of going to the airport “with the intent of any other person thinking it was a real explosive device.”

Danielson’s attorney Dan Cron told the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2c6pqG8 ) denies that, saying Danielson has taken technical mock-ups on planes in the past.

“He never intended that anyone think it was a bomb,” Cron said. “He was fully forthcoming at all times with everybody involved in the process. And I’m frankly surprised that he was charged.”

Cron said Danielson knew the TSA sometimes is concerned by similar mock-ups and that as he was putting his carry-on bag on the conveyor belt for screening he told TSA workers they would need to look at it.

Sunport spokesman Dan Jiron said he hadn’t read the charging documents but that he stands behind the decision to arrest Danielson.

“Certainly, the officers felt it appropriate to be able to use that statute to bring these charges against this individual,” Jiron said. “There was sufficient cause for that.”

Jiron said authorities knew where Danielson was headed and why, and don’t dispute those facts.


Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com