Alleged ‘swatting’ activities in Canada and U.S. lead to arrest: Saskatoon police

Police say a 15-year-old boy, who previous lived in Saskatoon, is facing charges after alleged “swatting” activates in Canada and the United States. File / Global News

The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) says a teen, who previously lived in the city, is facing charges following a joint investigation into alleged “swatting” activities in Canada and the United States.

A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) number was utilized to call a large U.S. metropolitan police department, resulting in an armed emergency response by local law enforcement, according to a SPS press release on Thursday.

“Swatting” is a criminal offence involving a dangerous prank call to the police, when a caller makes a false report with the express purpose of having emergency resources dispatched.

“This individual committed many other calls to law enforcement agencies, schools, universities, airports, businesses, and personal residences, threatening violence with weapons had occurred and people were critically injured,” read the release.

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“All of the incidents committed by the individual were false yet incited panic and fear, and cost tens of thousands of dollars in emergency response throughout both Canada and the U.S.”

No one was hurt as a result, police said.

According to SPS, the teen was identified through the investigation with the Edmonton Police Service, the United States Secret Service and the FBI joint terrorism task force.

A search was executed on a Saskatoon home in November 2020, where SPS said they seized evidence of the offences.

The 15-year-old boy, previously having resided in Saskatoon, was arrested by the Louisiana sheriff’s office Wednesday. He is facing a second-degree false public alarm impending bomb under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.

Police said the accused is also facing extradition to other jurisdictions in the U.S. to face charges and prosecution for the offences he committed while residing in Saskatoon.

More charges are anticipated on both sides of the border in this ongoing investigation, SPS said.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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