Probation in bomb hoax

A Kearny man who made a hoax bomb threat to the City of Passaic on Thanksgiving Day 2011 dodged a punitive bullet last week, being sentenced to five years probation.

He could have been imprisoned for up to five years and fined $250,000.

The hoaxster, Caesar Canchucaja, 31, had pleaded guilty in September before U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler in Newark Federal Court. Chesler imposed the probation sentence Dec. 18, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Canchucaja called the N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness on Nov. 24, 2011, falsely identifying another individual as an associate of an alleged New York City bomb plotter.

The Kearnyite said the named individual was planning to detonate a bomb somewhere in Passaic at approximately 5 o’clock that afternoon. There was no bombing, and no explosive devices were discovered.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force, the N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Passaic Police Department with the investigation leading to Canchucaja’s arrest and subsequent guilty plea.

– Karen Zautyk

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