Are Christian Nelson and James Thomas Andrew McCarty being charged in a national camera-smashing ring in which officials say they live-streamed the police response and on-camera officers responding to police reports.
Both men are also being charged with other counts of making 911 calls related to school incidents, including false reports of an active shooter. Swatting is when people make bogus calls to law enforcement in order to generate a larger police response.
The United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, California, announced in a press release that a grand jury indicted Nelson and McCarty during a December 19, 2022, “conspiracy to live stream swathing scene performed by doorbells across the United States.” Betrayed the police response for.”
According to the release, the doorbell ringing incidents occurred in Flat Rock, Michigan; Redding, California; Billings, Montana; Decatur, Ga.; Chesapeake, Virginia; Rosenberg, Texas; Oxnard, California; Darien, Ill.; Huntsville, Alabama; North Port, Fla.; West Covina, California; and Katy, Texas.
Nelson is from Wisconsin and McCarthy is from North Carolina.
This is what you need to know:
1. Prosecutors allege the men accessed a dozen Ring home security cameras across the United States, made fake 911 calls, then taunted police officers
The two men have been charged with “engaging in a roaming spree that, over a period of one week, gained access to a dozen Ring security cameras on doors across the country,” the man says. Department of Justice press release.
The statement said the men “made fake emergency phone calls to provoke an armed police response, then live-streamed the events on social media, sometimes taunting the responding police officers,” the police department said. Justice announced today.”
2. Nelson is currently imprisoned in Kentucky in a separate case for making terroristic threats to a local school
Christian Nelson, better known as “Chumalul,” is 21 years old and from Racine, Wisconsin, according to the Justice Department statement.
The Justice Department statement said Nelson is “currently incarcerated in Kentucky on an unrelated matter.” According to Vine Link, Nelson has been in the Fulton County, Kentucky Detention Center since July 2022.
Fulton County Jail records say Nelson is incarcerated in Kentucky on a charge of making terroristic threats.
The Murray Ledger newspaper reported that Nelson called in “two separate threats at Murray High School” in Kentucky and was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was accused of reporting a false active shooting at a school to Police Dispatch in January 2021, which led to a police response to the school because it was false. The next day, he was accused of making phone calls with bomb threats.
The article reported that he was arrested by Kentucky authorities at his home in Racine, Wisconsin.
Calloway Circuit Judge Jamie Jemison reprimanded Nelson during his sentencing hearing.
According to Murray Ledger, “I am sure I did more foolish things in my youth, and for some I probably should have received a little more punishment.” “But it never escalated into anything like this, and that’s the difference. There are young people who make silly mistakes, but most of them are prosecuted in lower district court because they don’t appreciate the seriousness of what happened here.” Let’s measure it. This could have been a very dangerous situation, and it certainly worried a lot of people, including the people who work at this courthouse.”
In Wisconsin, Nelson has an open misdemeanor charge in 2021 for “tampering with manufacturing identification.” Nelson was released on a $400 cash bond in that case. In April 2021, the bail was forfeited and a warrant was issued when Nelson failed to appear in court, according to court records. The matter was never resolved. There is also a 2021 Wisconsin case in which his extradition to Kentucky was approved, according to court records.
Nelson’s Facebook page has been taken down.
James Thomas Andrew McCarty is also known by the nickname “Aspartane”. The statement said he is 20 years old and from Charlotte, North Carolina, but was living in Kayunta, Arizona at the time of the swatting.
McCarty and Nelson were charged with “one count of conspiracy to knowingly access unauthorized computers”. Nelson was also charged with two counts of willful unauthorized access to a computer and two counts of aggravated identity theft,” the statement said.
3. McCarty is also being accused of notifying an Indiana school that he was about to start the shooting
According to WBTV, on December 15, 2022, McCarty was arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina and accused of calling schools and police departments across the country on false reports.
According to the television station, in one such case, McCarty “told police in New Jersey that he had killed one person, injured another and would blow up a house.”
In another police report, he told an Indiana school that he was a student about to become an active shooter.
WBTV reported that in Ohio, he lied to police that he had “four bombs outside a retail store”.
According to the Justice Department, in the Ring camera case, between November 7, 2020, and November 13, 2020, Nelson and McCarty “obtained access to home door security cameras sold by Ring LLC, a home security technology company.” Nelson and McCarty allegedly unauthorizedly obtained username and password information for Yahoo email accounts belonging to victims throughout the United States.”
The statement said they “determined whether the owner of each compromised Yahoo account had a Ring account with the same email address and password that could control Internet-connected Ring doorbell camera devices.”
Using that information, the Justice Department alleges, they “identified and collected additional information about the victims.”
4. Men accused of taunting police officers via Ring Cam
The two men are being charged with “making false emergency reports or phone calls to local law enforcement in the areas where the victims lived,” after obtaining personal information.
According to the statement, these reports or calls were “intended to provoke an emergency police response at the victim’s residence.”
“The defendants then allegedly accessed the victims’ Ring devices without authorization and broadcast audio and video from those devices on social media during the police response. They allegedly responded via the Ring devices during several incidents. verbally taunted the delivering officers and the victims,” the statement said.
5. At an incident in West Covina, Nelson posed as an underage girl who reported that her parents were inside the house firing guns while they were drinking.
In one instance, on November 8, 2020, Nelson and an associate “gained unauthorized access to Yahoo and Ring accounts belonging to a victim in West Covina,” the statement said.
“A hoax phone call was made to the West Covina Police Department, claiming to come from the victim’s residence as an underage girl, who reported that her parents had been drinking and brandishing a weapon inside the residence “
Nelson “allegedly gained unauthorized access to a Ring doorbell camera located at the residence of the victim’s parents and linked to the victim’s Ring account, and used it to verbally threaten and taunt West Covina police officers.” did. who responded to the reported report,” the statement says. ,
“This series of swatting incidents prompted the FBI to issue a public service announcement in late 2020 urging users of smart home devices with cameras and voice capabilities to use unique and complex passwords and protect against swatting attacks.” Requested to enable two-factor authentication to help.”
Spanish translation of the original Heavy.com note.