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Delaware man sentenced for nationwide swatting incidents

November 4, 2020 GMT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Delaware man was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for making a series of “swatting” calls to police departments and emergency dispatchers across the country, a U.S. attorney said.

David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for Delaware, said in a news release that Rodney Phipps, 30, of Georgetown was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty in January to five counts of making interstate threats and one count of making a false threat involving explosives in relation to a string of swatting phone calls.

Court documents indicate that from August 2015 through August 2017, Phipps placed swatting calls from Delaware to police departments and emergency dispatch centers to agencies in New Jersey, Louisiana, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia. The calls included false reports that murder, shooting incidents, arson, and a hostage situation had taken place or would take place, the documents said.

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Weiss also said many of the calls contained explicit threats that the caller would shoot any law enforcement personnel who responded to the call.