Sheriff: Balloon Boy a Hoax, Charges Imminent

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Richard Heene orchestrated the whole Balloon Boy hoax last week and had planned it for some time, according to authorities, who plan to charge him with a crime.

No sentence is long enough.

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden says the runaway balloon incident sparking a massive rescue effort for Falcon Heene was a "hoax" and a "publicity stunt."

The purpose? To promote a reality show.

Not that he has one. He just wants one.

Alderden says he will file 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 a law enforcement officer. The most significant charges they're facing could result in a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Falcon Heene, a.k.a. Balloon Boy, with insane father Richard Heene.

Falcon Heene, who pretty much confirmed the hoax on CNN the night of, and his siblings will probably not face charges, Alderden says, because of their age. Child Protective Services has been notified and will be conducting an investigation.

Authorities say the Balloon Boy hoax was a "planned event for two weeks." A dude who worked for Richard Heene also said yesterday he helped plan the stunt.

If the charges do go forward, they will seek restitution for all the expenses the county incurred. He doesn't believe anyone would do time because of the overcrowding situation in Colorado and because it would be a first offense.

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

The sheriff even got in a good dig at Richard Heene, who he is no fan of: "His education level is only high school ... he may be nutty, but he's not a professor."