Last Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 24, 2011 – a man phoned the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to report that a bomb would be detonated somewhere in the City of Passaic at 5 o’clock that afternoon.
It turned out to be a hoax.
No explosive device was found, but the caller was. And he turned out to be a Kearny resident, according to authorities.
The culprit, 31-year-old Caesar Canchucaja, pleaded guilty to federal charges last week, N.J. U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Appearing Sept. 5 before U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler in Newark, the Kearnyite admitted to “knowingly providing false information indicating that damage by means of an explosive would take place.”
According to Fishman’s office, when Canchucaja made the phone call, he “falsely identified another individual as an associate of an alleged New York City bomb plotter” and reported that this reputed associate was planning to “blow something up” in Passaic that day.
Canchucaja, who is to be sentenced Dec. 18, faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The indictment filed against him noted that he also used the surnames Canchucaja- Luque and Canchucacaja.
Details on the arrest were not provided, but Fishman credited special agents with the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Passaic Police Department with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
– Karen Zautyk