Nationwide Sting Nabs Three Accused of "Swatting"

Three men were charged last week when a sting operation found them responsible for making multiple "swatting" calls across the United States, including one here in Albany.

According to sources, two teenagers and a 26-year-old were among the three defendants charged with "swatting," a form of cyber harassment designed to send an armed emergency response team to a victim's location.

Men charged with threats to blow up and shoot Albany International Airport, 518news, 518-news, Swatting Threats Albany New York
3 men have been charged when a sting operation found them responsible for making multiple "swatting" calls across the United States, including one here in Albany. Photo: Google Maps
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Threats to Blow Up Albany International Airport

Sources state that Owen Jarboe, 18, of Hagerstown, Md; Evan Strauss, 26, of Moneta, Va.; and Brayden Grace, 18, of Columbus, Ohio, were charged "with conspiracy, cyberstalking, interstate threatening communications and threats to damage or destroy by means of fire and explosives."

According to law enforcement, there were at least five separate threats made to various locations or people across the country.  Some threats were aimed at specific teachers; others targeted entire communities, and in one of the incidents, threats were made to shoot up/bomb Albany International Airport.

Incidents Occurred from December through January

The threatening incidents occurred between Dec. 10, 2023, and at least Jan. 18, 2024. Strauss, Jarboe, and Grace, along with other conspirators, "knowingly and unlawfully conspired to place and cause to be placed swatting calls to multiple police and emergency departments across the United States."

According to reports, the alleged swatting calls targeted the following places:

  • A threat to burn down a residential trailer park in Alabama
  • A shooting threat against a teacher and unnamed students at a Delaware high school
  • A shooting and bomb threat to the Albany International Airport in New York
  • A shooting and bomb threat against a casino in Ohio
  • A multiple-homicide event and shooting threat against individuals in a residence in Eastman, Ga.

If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each count of conspiracy, cyberstalking, and interstate threat and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each charge to damage or destroy using fire and explosives.

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