What Is The Non-Emergency Phone Number For The Police Department Man Sends SWAT Team to Unsuspecting Homes in Phone Prank

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Man Sends SWAT Team to Unsuspecting Homes in Phone Prank

Swatting is becoming the plague of emergency workers all across the country. Swatting occurs when someone makes a prank call to an emergency service using a spoofed telephone number so that it cannot be traced back to them. They call about a hostage situation, bomb scare, or other circumstance that will cause the dispatch of SWAT teams.

In early March, 2008, a man from Washington state did exactly that, spoofing his telephone number and making a call to send armed police officers into the private homes of 12 people who were completely innocent of the crimes he reported on the phone. However, the Caller ID spoofing did not protect this man who has now been sentenced to 30 months in prison and has been fined $24,000 for restitution to the departments of the emergency workers who were scammed.

The very first person to ever be sentenced for swatting by a federal court was Guadalupe Santana Martinez. A 31 year old man, Martinez was sentenced in Dallas for many different swatting crimes along with 4 other admitted accomplices. These additional co-conspirators are scheduled to face their own sentencing within the months of March and April of 2008.

In his hearing, Martinez pled guilty to conspiracy (one count) and in his plea agreement, he admitted that he was the culprit behind two other incidents of swatting against Stephanie Proulx and her father in 2006. All of Martinez’s victims, including Ms. Proulx were participants in a party line against whom Martinez had apparently become embittered.

In the case of the 2006 swatting calls, Martinez had called the police at their non-emergency number, informing the police that he had murdered Proulx family members by shooting them, and that he was currently under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. He said that he was holding the rest of the family hostage and demanded $50,000 in cash as well as the cost of transportation to cross the Mexican border or he would kill the hostages with an AK-47. In those instances of swatting, Martinez spoofed his number using Spoofcard, making it seem as though the calls had been made from the home of his swatting victims.

In October of 2006, the FBI became involved when a police detective informed them of the case which had then involved the same victims twice. The FBI were quick to apprehend Martinez outside a Seattle suburb Denny’s Restaurant in January of 2007. Martinez has also admitted to swatting at least ten other times since 2004; the majority of which occurred within the state of Washington.

Experts say that you should always take extra measures to protect yourself against stop telemarketers and annoying calls alike, as you never know when you can become the target of something more involved.

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