A man in Washington state has been sentenced to two and a half years in a federal prison for his role in a "SWATTing" conspiracy that included prank calls intended to scramble the police and SWAT teams in Alvarado and Fort Worth on unsuspecting victims.
Guadalupe Santana Martinez, 32, is one of several defendants in the nationwide swatting conspiracy.
The series of gags, according to federal prosecutors, "involved more than 250 victims, up to $250,000 in losses, and disruption of services for telecommunications providers and emergency responders" (like the SWAT team pictured here Denton County and Lewisville SWAT team pictured here in a file photo from the Star-Telegram's archives).
Martinez was also ordered to pay restitution of $24,706.73, said U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas in a news release.
Martinez and fellow pranksters used elaborate schemes involving computers and "spoof cards" to complete the gags while concealing their identities. That's what happened in June 2006 when members of a party line chat group tried to "swat" a family in Alvarado. The gag was intended to harass a member of that family who was in the pranksters' chat group.
He also called police and said he killed family members and that he was holding hostages. He did the same thing a few months later with a call to Fort Worth police, according to court records.
Click here to read more about Martinez and members of his telephone chat group pulled similar pranks across the nation.
-- Bill Miller