UNITED STATES NEWS

Washington man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

Jun 5, 2024, 4:03 PM

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man who made 20 false reports of bombs and shootings around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced to three years in prison, U.S. authorities said.

Ashton Connor Garcia, 21, of Bremerton, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington. Garcia pleaded guilty in January to two counts of extortion and two counts of threats and hoaxes regarding explosives.

As part of his plea deal, Garcia admitted he intended the calls to cause the deployment of SWAT teams, bomb squads and other law enforcement to the targeted locations.

Garcia used voice-over-internet technology to conceal his identity when he placed the so-called swatting calls between June 2022 and March 2023 and also broadcasted them on a social media platform, according to federal prosecutors.

In two of the cases, he called in fake bomb scares for the Fox News station in Cleveland and for a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles. In another instance, he threatened to bomb an airport in Los Angeles unless he received $200,000 in Bitcoin, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said he collected personal information about several victims and threatened to send emergency responses to their homes unless they turned over money, credit card information or sexually explicit images.

Law enforcement entered some of the homes with guns drawn and detained people, authorities said.

The plea agreement details 20 different false emergency reports targeting victims in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Edmonton, Alberta, according to prosecutors.

Garcia’s arrest came amid a spate of threats and false reports of shooters in schools and colleges nationwide. Another surge of false reporting calls, many targeting public officials, occurred earlier this year and late last year.

Some swatting incidents have led to police shooting people, and officials also say they worry about diverting resources from real emergencies.

United States News

Associated Press

Woman holding large knife at Denver intersection shot and killed by police, chief says

DENVER (AP) — Officers shot and killed a woman who was holding a large, hunting-style knife at an intersection in downtown Denver on Sunday, police said. Officers used a Taser on the woman twice but she began advancing toward them as they tried to back up from her, Denver police Chief Ron Thomas said a […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

2 killed when vintage plane crashes during Father’s Day event at Southern California airfield

CHINO, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed aboard a vintage plane that crashed and burst into flames near a Southern California airfield during a weekend Father’s Day event hosted by an air museum, authorities said Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Lockheed 12A crashed shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, just west of […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people seriously injured after small plane crashes near interstate south of Denver

LARKSPUR, Colo. (AP) — Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries after their small plane crashed near Interstate 25 in Colorado on Sunday, officials said. The plane crashed in a field just off I-25 near Larkspur, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Denver, after it apparently hit a sign on the highway, causing it […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas lawmaker’s law license suspended over conflicts of interest in murder case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican Kansas lawmaker who already dropped his re-election campaign last month after he was arrested in a traffic stop has now been barred from practicing law for at least a year for mishandling conflicts of interest in a murder case. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that state Rep. Carl Maughan […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Police identify Michigan splash pad shooter but there’s still no word on a motive

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in suburban Detroit before taking his own life, but his motives remained unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans. Oakland County Sheriff’s spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

7 shot when gunfire erupts at a pop-up party in Massachusetts

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — Seven people were shot and wounded, and an eighth was hurt while running away when gunfire erupted at a large gathering of young people in Methuen, Massachusetts, authorities said Sunday. The gunfire began just before 2 a.m. after hundreds of people gathered for a pop-up party organized on social media, officials […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Washington man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada