D O J Seal
U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney Richard B. Roper
Northern District of Texas





PHONE: (214)659-8600
FAX: (214) 767-2898




FBI Asks Individuals, Municipalities, or First-Responders Victimized
by This Group of “Swatters,” to Notify FBI

DALLAS — U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Casey, Jr. of FBI Dallas, announced today that two additional defendants in a “swatting” conspiracy pled guilty this week in federal court in Dallas.

Jason R. Trowbridge of Houston, Texas and Chad A. Ward of Syracuse, New York, each entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and computer intrusions in furtherance of harassing and swatting telephone calls. They each face a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. These two individuals are among five defendants who have entered guilty pleas to the “swatting” conspiracy. “Swatting” refers to falsely reporting an emergency to a police department to cause a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) response to a physical address, or making a false report to elicit an emergency response by other first responders to a specific physical address. The conspiracy, as alleged, began in November 2002, and has resulted in hundreds of harassing and swatting calls being made, both nationally and internationally, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and the disruption hundreds of victims’ lives.

Special Agent in Charge Casey said, “This type of criminal conduct represents a risk to public safety. Thus far, injuries resulting from the criminal conduct have been limited to a few individuals; however, it is only a matter of time before serious bodily injury or death to individuals or law enforcement results from this type of conduct. In addition, by causing emergency responders to waste precious time and resources in responding to false reports, first responders become unavailable to react to real emergencies.”

The success of investigative efforts to date is due to the outstanding cooperation between local, state and federal agencies; public entities such as telecommunications providers and first-responders; and the public working together to resolve these cases. More than 40 state and local jurisdictions have assisted in the swatting conspiracy investigation, including organizations in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, New Jersey, Alabama, and Michigan.

U.S. Attorney Roper said, “The public can be confident that the Department of Justice is working to ensure that those who commit these kinds of cutting-edge cybercrimes are held accountable for their actions.”

The investigation into this conspiracy and the remaining unindicted coconspirators continues. If any individuals, municipality, or first-responders are aware of activity by this group of “swatters,” or anyone involved in “SWATing” activity, please report it to your local FBI office or Dallas FBI as soon as possible.