Man sentenced for ‘swatting’ offences – Southport

March 09

A 21-year-old man has been jailed for 16 months following an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) into ‘swatting’ offences.

‘Swatting’ is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual or group who knowingly provides false information to law enforcement agencies in the USA, suggesting that a threat exists at a particular location so that police respond with tactical units. Making false threats drains law enforcement resources and can cause significant distress or physical injury to first responders or victims.

Jordan Hunter, formally known as Jordan Lee-Bevan, of Boundary Street, Southport pleaded guilty of three counts of communicating information which he knows or believes to be false to another person with the intention of inducing in him or any other person a false belief that a bomb or other thing liable to explode or ignite is present in any place or location, Section 51(2) and (4) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Hunter was sentenced today (9/3) at Liverpool Crown Court to 16 months imprisonment.  

In late 2014 detectives from SEROCU started investigating incidents of ‘swatting’ which had been identified as originating from the UK. SEROCU’s Cyber Crime Unit, worked with the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit and the FBI in identifying Hunter and arrested him in January 2015.

On 23 July 2014, Hunter called Jersey City Police Department in New Jersey and stated that he had shot his mother, that he was armed with a loaded rifle, he wanted to shoot himself and would shoot if police came in. He also said he wanted to shoot a gas cooker to blow up the whole building and the block. 

On 26 July 2014, Hunter called Yonkers Police Department in New Jersey and said that he had entered Iona College with an M16 assault rifle, that he had a four-year-old son with leukaemia and had nothing to live for. During the call he demanded $15,000 and then said that in thirty minutes he was going to shoot someone if he did not receive his money. He went on to say that he had blocked off several entrances with homemade explosives. 

On 3 September 2014, two calls were made to Denison University and another call to Maryland University which were broadcast live over the internet.  The caller to Denison University stated that he was on his way, armed in a black jeep and that he was going to blow up the building.  During the call to Maryland University Hunter claimed to be a hostage, stating that he had a gun to his head, whilst another person on the call claimed to be the hostage taker, stating that he was armed with an AR15 on the university campus.

Hunter posted tweets using the names GDKJordie and EvilJordie amongst others, before and following some of the incidents.  A ‘dox’ appeared to attribute these usernames as an individual living in Kent.  As a result of the fake dox an innocent family living in Kent, suffered online abuse and threats of physical violence. Doxing’ is a practice of broadcasting or disseminating identifiable personal information over the internet.

Detective Inspector Nick Bell, from SEROCU’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “This investigation is a good example of joint law enforcement cooperation in relation to a type of criminality that is not restricted by any geographical boundaries.

“Offences referred to as ‘swatting’ involve law enforcement forces in the United States receiving hoax calls via Skype for a major incidents in which SWAT teams were dispatched.

“Cyber crime is an issue which has no boundaries and affects people on a local, regional and global level. This conviction demonstrates that we will pursue those who commit crime with the false perception they are protected within their own homes or hiding behind anonymous online personas.

“We are pursuing cyber criminals using the latest technology and working with businesses and academia to further develop specialist investigative capabilities to protect and reduce the risk to the public.

“I would like to urge everyone to check their home and business computer security and follow the advice available on sites such as cyberstreetwise.com and getsafeonline.org.

“Finally I would ask anyone who has information in regards to cyber offences to report them to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or anonymously calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”