Federal jury indicts Delaware man on ‘swatting’ hoaxes

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a Delaware man accused of making hoax emergency calls to locations across the country, causing police and SWAT teams to respond.

An indictment handed down May 16 against 29-year-old Rodney Allen Phipps of Georgetown was unsealed Monday.

Prosecutors allege Phipps falsely reported shootings and other emergencies at locations in five states in a scheme known as “swatting.” Investigators say he also would threaten to shoot law enforcement officials who responded to those locations.

Authorities say Phipps made the swatting calls to authorities in New Jersey, Louisiana, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia from 2015 to 2017.

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Phipps was charged with five counts of making interstate threats and one count of making a false threat involving explosives. He could face up to 35 years in prison.

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