19-Year Old Arrested For Cyberharassment
Posted by Xena
Online, he uses the handle “Famed God.” Brandon Wilson now has fame, but not in the manner he wanted. Thursday, Wilson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is now behind bars in Nevada waiting extradition to Illinois. In July, Wilson allegedly reported a murder to Naperville’s emergency 911 line. The SWAT team responded and found that the call was a false report. Illinois prosecutors said there is evidence on Wilson’s computers that the July 10, 2014 “swatting” hoax was not the only time that Wilson made false police reports.
“Swatting” is the new form of internet harassment which involves falsely reporting a dangerous situation to send the police to another person’s home. The false report can lead to deployment of a SWAT team.
Wilson is also said to have hacked the gaming consoles of two others and threatened to put someone “in debt for life” by accessing banking information. Illinois prosecutors said charges Wilson faces include two counts of computer tampering, one count of intimidation, computer fraud, identity theft and disorderly conduct. If convicted, Wilson faces up to 5 years in prison.
Calling it a “dangerous prank,” State’s Attorney James Glasgow plans to craft legislation that would make swatting a felony in Illinois. The bill would also require anyone convicted of swatting to reimburse municipalities for the cost of the emergency response. Sending out a SWAT team can cost taxpayers $10,0000.
Illinois is getting very serious about cyber-harassment. You might remember that we reported here that a jury awarded a victim $50,000 after a man in New York made a false police report about a resident of Illinois. Attorneys took serious notice of that case because it established that harassers using the internet who reside in other jurisdictions, will have to defend themselves in the jurisdiction where the victim lives.
The effort to stop this type of harassment is international. Earlier this year, the United Kingdom and United States worked together to identity Jordan Lee-Bevana, a teen in the UK who impersonated being a Black Chicago gang member and made phony calls to the police in the US of fake hostage situations or bomb threats in schools or universities that prompted police raids. There is consideration underway of charging those who make such false police reports with attempted murder.