'Swatting' conspirators charged in US
Three American men have been charged with aiding a hoaxer whose prank led to a fatal shooting.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) claims the three men "conspired" with another man, Tyler Barriss, to make calls about fake incidents which prompted armed police to respond.
Mr Barriss is facing 20 years in jail for one "swatting" call that ended in the death of Andrew Finch.
Schools, police departments and others were targeted with fake calls.
The three men charged with conspiracy and "conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive device" are:
- Neal Patel, Illinois
- Tyler Stewart, Florida
- Logan Patten, Missouri
Mr Patel and Mr Stewart have been arrested and charged, said the DoJ in a statement. It added that Mr Patten had agreed to give himself up to police in Los Angeles.
Information about the swatting incidents released by the DoJ revealed that the three are accused of being in contact with Barriss for a series of hoax calls separate to the one in late 2017 that ended in Mr Finch's death.
The other incidents allegedly involved bomb threats made to schools, calls about fake hostage situations involving armed attackers and paying Barriss to prompt police to attend fictitious emergencies.