Former Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller has been charged with calling in a false bomb threat from an Amtrak train, federal authorities say.
Miller was arrested Monday night at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York. He was charged in a federal criminal complaint “with intentionally conveying to law enforcement false information about an explosive device on a train traveling to Connecticut,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
Miller appeared today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven and was released on a $100,000 bond. The charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison.
According to federal prosecutors, on March 18, Miller called a 911 dispatcher in New Jersey and reported that he was on Amtrak Train 2256 traveling from Washington, D.C., toward Penn Station in New York City, and that a female passenger “has a bomb in her bag.” Miller described the woman as having brown hair and a scarf. Amtrak officials stopped the train at Green’s Farms Station in Westport, Connecticut. Passengers were taken off the train and bomb squad members did a search but no explosive device or materials were found.
The complaint goes on to allege an investigator contacted Miller by phone. This time Miller described the woman differently as having red hair and a red scarf and carrying a “black bag carry-on suitcase with a handle.” He said she kept checking her bag without taking anything out; kept asking the First Class attendant what the next stop was, and seemed to want to get off the train and leave her bag behind.
According to the complaint, the officer detected slurring in Miller’s voice and asked if he had consumed alcohol that day. Miller replied that he had consumed “one glass of red wine.” Asked if he suffered from mental illness, Miller replied “no, absolutely not. This is the first time I’ve ever made a call like this before. I am worried for everyone on that train. Someone has to check that lady out.”
Investigators later determined that Miller had actually been traveling on a different train than he initially reported. An attendant from the First Class car where Miller had been sitting said Miller appeared intoxicated when he boarded in Washington, and consumed multiple drinks on the train and was removed in New York because of intoxication. The attendant also told investigators Miller had been involved in hostile exchanges with a woman who was sitting in a different row from him in the First Class car.
The complaint further alleges that Miller, motivated by a grudge against the subject female, called 911 to relay false information about a suspected bomb on the train, and continued to convey false information to investigators while the public safety response was ongoing.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, Connecticut State Police, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, Amtrak Police Department and Westport Police Department.
This is not the first brush with the law for Miller. He was arrested in 2016 in Los Angeles after a car service driver accused him of battery and later was released on his own recognizance.
Miller exited after season 4 of HBO’s Silicon Valley in what producers described as a “mutual agreement”. He recently wrapped Deadpool 2 and is set for a voice role in How To Train Your Dragon 3.