Swatter sentenced to one year in jail

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A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison, after playing a part in a string of swatting calls made last year. According to court documents, Michael Tollis of Wethersfield, Connecticut was part of a group known as TCOD (TeAM CrucifiX or Die), who used Skype to make hoax emergency calls related to bombs, shootings and hostages—calls that would then be investigated by police enforcement and security groups including armed SWAT teams and bomb squads. Tollis was involved in at least six incidents, the documents say, including a call to the University of Connecticut that resulted in the campus being locked down for three hours.

Tollis' role in the group was finding locations for the group to swat, along with the phone numbers and other info needed to make them happen. He was arrested in September last year, and pleaded guilty to the charges in court this June. Last Tuesday he was sentenced to a year and a day in jail—he's been ordered to appear at prison on November 5 to begin his sentence.

“Swatting is not a schoolboy prank, it’s a federal crime,” U.S. Attorney Dierdre Daly told Fox. “These hoaxes have expended critical law enforcement resources and caused severe emotional distress for thousands of victims.”

The FBI is working with UK law enforcement to arrest other members of TCOD, who are believed to reside in the UK.

Back in February, a Twitch streamer posted an emotional plea after he was the victim of a swatting 'prank' live on air. His ten-year-old brother answered the door to armed police.

Thanks, NeoGAF.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.