FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2010
NEWARK, N.J. – A private security guard contracted by the National Basketball Association (NBA) is expected to appear today in Newark federal court after being federally charged with making several hoax bomb threats to a Secaucus, New Jersey NBA Properties office, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
José Quesada, 19, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged by Complaint with willfully providing false information indicating that malicious damage of a building or vehicle would take place. The defendant, hired to provide office security for the building, surrendered this afternoon to federal agents.
According to the Complaint filed in Newark federal court:
Quesada made several calls to the NBA office from his cell phone over a three-day period beginning July 26, 2010, leaving multiple voicemail messages saying that he was going to blow up the building and kill people. In one July 26 call, Quesada stated: “. . . I put a bomb outside. . . Gonna kill all the NBA. . . . There's a bomb outside the complex in the parking lot. I put a bomb outside in the bush. No way out. Gonna blow up at 9:00 o’clock in the morning. Good luck. . . If you come out, it will blow up . . . ”
Due to Quesada’s actions, the building was evacuated while law enforcement and K-9 units searched the area for hours. No explosive devices were discovered. Additional security measures were put in place following the threats.
If convicted of the charge, Quesada faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman said, “A bomb threat is not a prank, it is a federal crime. There is nothing amusing about scaring people and wasting the valuable time and resources of those responsible for keeping us safe.”
Fishman credited special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Secaucus Police Department with the investigation. He also praised the Hudson County and Secaucus Offices of Emergency Management for their response to the threat.
The charge and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.