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




Defendant Made False 911 Calls for Fun and Profit

DALLAS — Guadalupe Santana Martinez, a defendant in a swatting conspiracy that involved more than 250 victims, up to $250,000 in losses, and disruption of services for telecommunications providers and emergency responders, was sentenced today to serve 30 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $24,706.73, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Martinez, 32, of Washington, pled guilty in April 2007 to conspiring with others to commit access device fraud and unauthorized access to protected computers. Martinez has been in custody since his arrest in January 2007 in Federal Way, Washington.

U.S. Attorney Roper said, “I applaud the tough sentence Judge Kinkeade imposed on this defendant whose criminal actions resulted in injuries to innocent victims and service disruptions of telecommunications providers and emergency responders - all part of our national infrastructure. The public can be confident that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas will continue to work to ensure that those who commit these types of cutting-edge cybercrimes are held accountable for their actions.”

“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, such as adult protective services, to a specific physical address. Martinez and others made phone calls to 911 while spoofing the caller I.D. of someone for the purpose of harassment, intimidation or extortion. “Spoofing” refers to the modification of caller I.D. information to conceal the true identity of a caller. Calls to 911 were made with spoofed caller I.D. information by using commercial spoof cards and other means to convince first responders that the emergency call was really coming from the victim’s residence.

Other members of the conspiracy have pled guilty to their roles. In June 2007, four coconspirators of Martinez were indicted in a separate case. The lead defendant in that case,
Stuart Rosoff, a/k/a “Michael Knight,” of Cleveland, Ohio, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to use access devices to modify telecommunications instruments and to access protected telecommunications computers. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. He has been in custody since his arrest in June when he, and three co-defendants, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas. Rosoff is scheduled to be sentenced on April 10, 2008.

Rosoff’s co-defendants, Jason Trowbridge, a/k/a “Jason from California” and “John from California,” and Angela Roberson, a/k/a “Amber” and “Lil Miss Angela,” were arrested in June in Houston, Texas. Co-defendant Chad Ward, a/k/a “Dark Angel,” was also arrested in June, in Syracuse, New York. On October 18, 2007, Roberson, who is presently on bond, pled guilty to her role in the conspiracy. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17, 2008. Trowbridge and Ward pled guilty in November 2007 to their roles in the conspiracy. Trowbridge is scheduled to be sentenced on March 27, 2008 and Ward is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2008. Trowbridge and Ward are in custody. All face up to five years in prison, at least a $250,000 fine and joint and several restitution to be paid to the victims.

According to documents filed in the Martinez case, from at least January 2004, Martinez participated in a telephone chat group with Chad Ward, Stuart Rosoff, Jason Trowbridge, Angela Roberson and others. They agreed to conduct swatting calls to harass members of the telephone chat group and their families. Approximately 15-20 participants in the telephone chat group engaged in the swatting activities including conspirators Rosoff, Ward and Trowbridge.

In June 2006, Rosoff, Ward, Trowbridge, Roberson, and other unindicted co-conspirators, agreed to “swat” an Alvarado, Texas, family whose daughter was a party line chat group participant. On June 12, 2006, Martinez placed a spoofed phone call to the number for non-emergency services for the Alvarado, Texas, Police Department using a voice over internet protocol phone (VoIP) and a spoof card to conceal his true identity to make it appear that the call was actually made from the family’s residence. Martinez identified himself as a family member and told the dispatcher that he had shot and killed members of the family, that he was holding hostages, that he was using hallucinogenic drugs, and that he was armed with an AK47. He demanded $50,000 and transportation across the U.S. border into Mexico, and threatened to kill the remaining hostages if his demands were not met.

On October 1, 2006, Martinez called the 911 non-emergency services telephone number of the Fort Worth, Texas, Police Department and identified himself as he did on June 12, 2006, when he called the Alvarado, Texas, Police Department. He stated that he had shot and killed members of the family, that he was holding hostages, that he was using hallucinogenic drugs, and that he was armed. Martinez told the dispatcher that he would kill the remaining hostages if his demands were not met. Martinez placed the call using a combination of a VoIP phone and a spoof card to conceal his true identity and make it appear as if the 911 calls were true emergency call placed from the family’s residence.

According to documents filed in the cases, as a result of the swatting telephone calls, at least two victims received injuries. Rosoff admitted knowing that injuries were received by an infirm, elderly male who resided in New Port Richey, Florida, and a male who lived in Syracuse, New York, and that as a result of the swatting activities resulting in a SWAT response, i.e., road closings, etc., normal municipal activities were disrupted in Yonkers, New York, Snohomish County, Washington, and other locations due to the false emergency calls. The government claims that the swatting activities engaged in by the conspirators involved more than 250 victims including individuals, telecommunications providers, and emergency responders resulting in losses of more than $250,000, and resulted in the disruption of the services of the telecommunications providers and emergency responders which are both part of the national infrastructure. During the conspiracy, group members were responsible for more than 100 “SWAT” calls.

Robert E. Casey Jr., Special Agent In Charge, FBI Dallas, praised the cooperation exhibited by law enforcement agencies in more than 40 state and local jurisdictions who have assisted in the SWATing conspiracy investigation including organizations in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, New Jersey, Alabama, and Michigan. SAC Casey further asked if any individuals, municipality, or first responders are aware of activity by this group of “swatters” or anyone involved in SWATing activity, to please report it to your local FBI office or the Dallas FBI as soon as possible.

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the FBI. The cases are being prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Groves.