Youngster with server to ‘rival the National Security Agency’ pleads guilty to Northern Va. swatting incidents

A juvenile has pleaded guilty to “numerous” swatting incidents in Stafford County, Virginia, last year with what the sheriff’s office called “a server we imagine would rival the National Security Agency.”

A “swatting” incident is one in which a person makes a fake call to a 911 center in order to generate a large response to a false emergency.

Detectives said that they found the young person after searching phone records that then led to the sheriff’s office executing a search warrant in September at the house where he lived in Stafford County.

When searching the house, detectives said that they “recovered computers, hard drives and a server we imagine would rival the National Security Agency,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The sheriff’s office says the series of bogus 911 calls started last year between May and September when the office responded to a “plethora” of swatting incident reporting bombs and shootings at Stafford High School, Brooke Point High School, Dixon Smith Middle School and Drew Middle School. These caused multiple evacuations of students, staff and teachers at the schools.

All of the calls were later found to be fake and not based on actual incidents, “but there were many nervous and anxious students, staff and parents during the incidents,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The juvenile was charged with aiding in terrorism and falsely summoning law enforcement. The juvenile pleaded guilty in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to five counts of conspiring to make terroristic threats and two counts of falsely summoning law enforcement.

All of the juvenile’s computers were surrendered to law enforcement, the sheriff’s office said.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up