Balloon Boy: Criminal charges will be filed

heenefamily_290.jpgThe Balloon Boy incident has become increasingly bizarre and sordid.

"We anticipate criminal charges will be filed sometime in the near future," said Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden in a statement that was read on CNN Saturday night.

Although Aldernen did not specify what the charges would be, he did drop hints that a Class 3 misdemeanor was being considered, which would be consistent with charges for a false report. Aldernen also added that the charge "hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances" and that the Sheriff's office would be talking to the District Attorney and FAA officials to see if possible federal charges could apply.

The Larimer County Sheriff's department is still obtaining search warrants.

A press release is planned for sometime Sunday.

In other Balloon Boy news, Robert Thomas, who claims to be a former assistant who worked with Richard Heene, talked to Gawker in a paid interview. Thomas detailed how his interest in Heene's work led to a working relationship earlier this year.

During this time, Thomas became familiar with Heene, whom he said became obsessed with trying to get his family its own reality show after appearing on ABC's "Wife Swap" twice. Thomas helped outline a proposal for the show, which would feature experiments for each week of the year. One of the experiments included the creation of a weather balloon made to look like a UFO.

"We will capture the footage on film, and will utilize the media as a means with which to make our presence known to the masses," reads the proposal. "This will not only provide us with incredible footage, but will also generate a tremendous amount of controversy among the public, as well as publicity within the mainstream media. This will be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell Crash of 1947, and the result will be a dramatic increase in local and national awareness about The Heene Family, our Reality Series, as well as the UFO Phenomenon in general."

Check out Thomas' full interview, including the reality show proposal and emails exchanged between him and Heene at Gawker.

Story developing ...

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Related:

Richard Heene does not make live 'announcement' in press conference
Balloon Boy family's reality TV dreams deflated
Balloon Boy throws up, dad denies hoax on 'Today'
Balloon Boy and family were on 'Wife Swap'

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