A previous Virginia college or university university student and federal prosecutors have attained a plea deal right after he was accused of reporting untrue bomb threats and active shootings, a likely harmful hoax recognized as “swatting,” in coordination with a nationwide ring of white supremacists.
The previous university student, John William Kirby Kelley, has signed the plea agreement and has a hearing scheduled for Might 8, in accordance to a courtroom doc submitted Saturday. He was arrested in January on a charge of conspiring to make threats to injure, according to The Affiliated Press.
A representative for the United States Attorney’s Office environment for the Japanese District of Virginia said the agreement had “not however been entered into the public record” and declined to comment further more.
Lawyers for Mr. Kelley declined to remark on Monday.
The authorities arrested Mr. Kelley earlier this 12 months in relationship with the swatting ring, which investigators stated made use of the dark world wide web and masking technological innovation to conceal their IP addresses and phone quantities. He has nonetheless to be indicted on fees linked to what the authorities say was a plot to make and videotape swatting calls to the law enforcement, according to The A.P.
The Alfred Road Baptist Church, a historic black church in Alexandria, Va., was a person of the targets of the swatting ring, according to the F.B.I., which characterized the users of the ring as neo-Nazi sympathizers. The authorities stated associates of the team used racial slurs and anti-Semitic language in their conversations about prospective targets.
Mr. Kelley, a previous scholar at Outdated Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., recommended his university as a swatting goal in November 2018, an F.B.I. agent stated in an affidavit.
Later on that thirty day period, an nameless caller told campus law enforcement officers that he experienced an AR-15 rifle and had placed a number of pipe bombs in campus structures, the affidavit claimed. The call came from a blocked range.
Mr. Kelley was afterwards harassed by his co-conspirators “because he determined his personal university as a swatting concentrate on,” the affidavit explained. The university expelled Mr. Kelley right after he was arrested on point out drug rates, according to the affidavit.
In February, the authorities arrested John Cameron Denton, of Montgomery, Texas, on prices connected to numerous swatting activities in the Jap District of Virginia. Prosecutors accused Mr. Denton, a previous chief of the white supremacist team Atomwaffen Division, of conspiring with Mr. Kelley and some others to area the bogus legislation enforcement experiences from November 2018 to at minimum April 2019.
In its statement at the time of Mr. Denton’s arrest, the U.S. Attorney’s Business for the Eastern District of Virginia characterised swatting as “a harassment tactic.” In a individual case, a federal grand jury indicted a few men in 2018 for a swatting prank that still left a single man useless.
A attorney stated for Mr. Denton could not be immediately arrived at Monday night.
Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.