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Sheriff:

Balloon Boy Incident

a 'Hoax'

10/18/2009 2:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden says they have evidence that the runaway balloon incident was a "hoax" and a "publicity stunt" to promote a reality show.

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Alderden says they plan on filing charges against Richard and Mayumi Heene soon -- one of which would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a felony. The other charges could be conspiracy, false reporting and attempt to influence an officer.

The most significant charges they face could result in a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

The kids will probably not face charges, Alderden says, because of their age. Alderden says Child Protective Services has been notified and will be conducting an investigation.

Alderden says the hoax was a "planned event for two weeks."

Alderden said that if the charges do go forward, they will seek restitution for all the expenses the county incurred. He doesn't believe anyone would serve jail time because of the overcrowding situtation in Colorado and because it would be their first offense.

He did not set a time frame for when arrests would be made.

The sheriff also said this about Richard Heene: "His education level is only high school ... he may be nutty, but he's not a professor."

254 COMMENTS

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1.

UGGGGHHH    

OH WELL, THEY HAD IT COMING

1775 days ago
2.

Truth hurts    

HAHA! Morons. I hope the dad does prison time. What a jackass. I knew it was a hoax. Stupid people.

http://factbasedweightloss.com/

1775 days ago
3.

Mikey    

Busted.

1775 days ago
4.

Lesley    

So glad they finally got to the bottom of this, and hopefully can get those kids away from those crazy parents, or get the parents some serius help! It's awesome that they have to pay back the funds they wasted.

1775 days ago
5.

mooom    

ok why hasnt someone mentioned the condition of the three boys during a tv interview where all three of those kids fell asleep and the youngest even vomitted? has it occured to anyone that they were sedated? 3 kids dont fall asleep at the same time. also why wasnt the father arrested earilier in the year when a 911 call was made and she had an injury to her eye and cheek? these parents are unfit. period

1775 days ago
6.

ivy    

STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS ALREADY....nobody cares...just like the goslin family!! GEEZZ, give it a rest TMZ!!!

1775 days ago
7.

rhbjorn    

Time will tell if the hoax works.

1775 days ago
8.

WEENIE HEENIE    

Is he a wife beater too? I think that Weeny Heenie was the mad scientist behind this all. What a loser.

1775 days ago
9.

Johnnie    

BREAKING NEWS: The Colorado police now say the balloon boy incident was a hoax and a publicity stunt. IT WON'T BE LONG NOW UNTIL THEY GET THEIR REALITY SHOW!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'LL WATCH EVERY EPISODE!!!!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GIVE THEM A REALITY SHOW!!!!

1775 days ago
10.

Lens Duviour    

Stupid Americans, this is typical of them, they do this all for their own needs. Would never happen in France as we are cultured, not people in straw hats and bad hygiene.

1775 days ago
11.

Donna    

About time they charged these whackos.
I googled the father & found on his myspace page he is listed as single. This guy is such a loser !!!
Between this family & Jon & Kate, I think its time to stop alot of these reality shows & stop giving these money hungry wannabe famous idiots the media they ohhh so want.
Idiots!!!!

1775 days ago
12.

jnia    

Thank you for wasting my time worrying about a child. What kind of parent does this & what kind of parent teaches a child to lie?! These parents make me sick!

1775 days ago
13.

A Person    

PUT HIM IN JAIL! 8th COMMENT!!!

1775 days ago
14.

rando    

balls.

1775 days ago
15.

zingbing    

The sheriff is a doughnut eating pansy. First he says it's unlikely it's a hoax even when it's OBVIOUS it's one. He does that to avoid looking bad for being fooled and a terrible investigation to begin with. So he kept playing it like it was unlikely to be a hoax. He should have just avoided trying to tell us all it wasn't one. Then only when someone else speaks up with the truth does he change and say he thinks it's a hoax and he's filing charges, after everyone including the birds in the sky agree it's one. He should have his stupid star ripped off and given to someone else.

1775 days ago
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