Joint Investigation Into Swatting Incidents Leads To Arrest

On September 3, 2020, the Saskatoon Police Service entered into a joint investigation with the Edmonton Police Service and several United States law enforcement agencies into a youth engaged in ‘swatting’ activities on both sides of the border.

The investigation involved a youth, utilizing a VoIP number to call a large U.S. metropolitan police department, resulting in an armed emergent response by local law enforcement. This individual committed many other calls to law enforcement agencies, schools, universities, airports, businesses, and personal residences, threatening violence with weapons had occurred and people were critically injured. All of the incidents committed by the individual were false yet incited panic and fear, and cost tens of thousands of dollars in emergency response throughout both Canada and the U.S. Thankfully, no persons were injured as a result.

The youth was identified following an extensive investigation by the Edmonton Police Service Cybercrime Unit, Saskatoon Police Service, the Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), the United States Secret Service and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

On November 19, 2020, the Edmonton Police Service received judicial approval for a search warrant to be executed on a Saskatoon residence. The SPS General Investigations Section executed this warrant and seized evidence of the offences. The local Saskatoon address is not being provided due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

On March 24, 2021, the 15-year-old male, previously having resided in Saskatoon, was arrested by the Louisiana Sherrif’s Office. He is facing Second Degree False Public Alarm Impending Bomb under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. The youth is also facing extradition to other jurisdictions in the United States to face charges and prosecution for the offences he committed while residing in Saskatoon.

The investigation is ongoing with more charges anticipated in both Canada and the U.S.