Arizona man gets 7 years in prison for making hoax calls with stolen identities to get SWAT responses

Jun 25, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2024, 5:22 am

Arizona man used hoax calls to sic SWAT teams on US victims...

James Thomas Andrew McCarty, pictured above, pleaded guilty to making hoax calls to activate SWAT teams. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office photo)

(Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office photo)

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was sentenced to seven years in prison for calling SWAT teams to out-of-state high schools, authorities announced on Monday.

James Thomas Andrew McCarty, 21, pleaded guilty to making two hoax calls to bring police to the high schools in February, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

“McCarty was a resident of Kayenta and made all his calls while residing there,” the office said in a news release.

Kayenta is a town in Navajo County.

He also pled guilty to two counts of aggravated identity theft because he pretended to be a school shooter while using real students’ names, prosecutors said.

McCarty was sentenced last week.

When did the suspect make the hoax calls bringing SWAT teams to high schools?

McCarty’s crimes took place in the first few months of 2021, prosecutors said.

In January 2015, he called a high school in Indiana while pretending to be one of the its students. He claimed to be ready to attack the school with an AR-15 rifle, a Glock handgun and propane bottles, prosecutors said.

He made a “series” of calls to this school while stealing his victim’s identity, according to the news release.

Twenty minutes later, McCarty targeted an Oklahoma high school.

McCarty once again stole a student’s identity, calling the school and claiming he was about to unload his AR-15 rifle, Glock handgun and propane tanks, prosecutors said.

Fake school shooter made more hoax calls, prosecutors say

McCarty pled guilty to making two more hoax calls: one in April 2021 and the other in May 2021. Those times, he targeted a homeowner rather than a high school student.

“He used the name of the same homeowner in both calls, stating to police that he had killed his wife, would kill everyone, blow up the residence and had four bombs planted outside of a retail location,” according to the release.

It wasn’t his first time posing as a murderous husband. He committed a similar crime in February 2020, prosecutors said.

McCarty broke into a Florida woman’s Ring doorbell, called the police in her community and made up a fake hostage situation, prosecutors said.

He pretended to be the victim’s husband, who had just killed her. He said he was holding a hostage and had rigged explosions at the residence, prosecutors said.

“McCarty then livestreamed the law enforcement response and posted a message that he thought it was funny,” according to the release.

He pled guilty to this crime also in February of this year.

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Arizona man gets 7 years in prison for making hoax calls with stolen identities to get SWAT responses