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East Coast Terror Hoax Suspect Sent West

Feb 07, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Jose Ernesto Beltran Quinonez, a Mexican accused of concocting a tall tale involving a nuclear attack on Boston, has been extradited to San Diego, the Associated Press reports.

Quinonez pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of disseminating false information about a terror attack and lying to federal officials, the AP said.  He could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison.

In January 2005, the man allegedly phoned in a report to the California Highway Patrol saying that a warhead would be brought into the U.S, and that he had smuggled a number of Chinese chemists and Iraqis into the country to put the weapon to use in Boston.

The man’s alleged lies resulted in federal warnings, a large-scale investigation, Presidential discussions and nationwide manhunt for the group of Chinese suspects Quinonez implicated.

“What a huge waste of resources,” Dan Dzwilewski, head of the San Diego FBI office, told the AP.  “It took hundreds and hundreds of man-hours here and across the country.  The threat that he laid out had to be taken seriously until it was validated or discredited.”

On Saturday, Quinonez was arrested in Mexicali, a Mexican city about 120 miles east of San Diego, and was turned over to the FBI on Sunday, Dzwilewski told the AP.

Quinonez’s bail hearing has been set for Wednesday.

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Managing Editor

Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.

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