Christine Spines
October 18, 2009 AT 05:57 PM EDT

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden convened a news conference on Sunday afternoon telling reporters evidence now shows that Richard and Mayumi Heene lied to police and news media when they reported their six-year-old son, Falcon, had been carried away inside a helium balloon. The Sheriff hopes to see charges filed against the parents for conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, false reporting to authorities, and attempting to influence a public servant. The charges could carry a wide range of penalties, including jail time. Alberden said the whole family was in on the hoax, which was intended to attract media attention to help the eccentric family secure its own reality show. The family had rehearsed its story enough to initially deceive investigators. “They put on a good show and we fell for it,” said Alberden, who doubts the couple’s young children will face criminal charges because of their ages.

More ”Balloon Boy” coverage from EW:

Heene family’s TV past: the Wife Swap years

”Balloon Boy” TV coverage: Pass the popcorn!

Richard Heene holds news conference: ”Absolutely no hoax” (from Oct. 17)

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