Teen arrested in 'swatting' investigation involving U.S Secret Service, FBI: Saskatoon police
SASKATOON -- A 15-year-old boy, formerly of Saskatoon, was arrested Wednesday by the Louisiana Sherrif’s Office after a swatting investigation, police say.
On Sept. 3, 2020, the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) entered into a joint investigation with the Edmonton Police Service and several United States law enforcement agencies into a youth allegedly engaged in swatting activities on both sides of the border.
Swatting is an activity where someone places a call to emergency services or police under false pretenses for the purpose of generating a large scale emergency response to a particular location.
SPS said in a news release that the investigation involved a youth using a VoIP number to call a large U.S. metropolitan police department, resulting in an armed emergent response by local law enforcement.
The person allegedly committed many other calls to law enforcement agencies, schools, universities, airports, businesses, and personal residences, saying that violence with weapons had occurred and people were critically injured.
All of the incidents were false yet incited panic and fear, and cost tens of thousands of dollars in emergency response throughout both Canada and the U.S., police say.
No one was actually hurt.
The youth was identified following an extensive investigation by the Edmonton Police Service Cybercrime Unit, Saskatoon Police Service, the Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), the United States Secret Service and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
On Nov. 19, 2020, the Edmonton Police Service received judicial approval for a search warrant to be executed on a Saskatoon home.
SPS executed the warrant and seized evidence of the alleged offences. The local Saskatoon address is not being provided due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
The suspect is facing a charge of Second Degree False Public Alarm Impending Bomb under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.
The youth is also facing extradition to other jurisdictions in the United States to face charges and prosecution for the offences he committed while residing in Saskatoon.
More charges are anticipated in both Canada and the U.S.