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28 March 2008, 12:36

SWATter jailed for three years

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Komo TV of Seattle reports that Randal T. Ellis, who was arraigned on 22nd October for SWATting, has been sentenced to three years behind bars in Orange County Superior Court. He has also been fined $14,765, most of which is restitution to the County Sheriff's Department.

SWATting consists of placing bogus emergency calls with the aim of eliciting an armed response to the addresses of innocent victims. The incident that led to Ellis' arrest nearly led to tragedy on March 29 2007, when a SWAT team responded to his false report of drugs offences and murder at a private home in Lake Forest, Orange County California. The call appeared to come from the address in question but was actually placed from somewhere in Washington State.

Ellis was charged with computer access and fraud, false imprisonment by violence and falsely reporting a crime. He pled guilty on all counts. He is believed to have made many such hoax calls in the past. The specific technique used to falsify the source of the call has still not been disclosed, but several methods of caller ID spoofing are well known.

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