A 20-year-old Virginia man on Monday was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for a series of involvement in multiple ‘swatting’ incidents, including one against an Islamic centre in Arlington.
John William Kirby Kelley former student at Old Dominion University conspired with a former leader of the Neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division, John Cameron Denton, and carried out over 130 swatting calls. He has been sentenced to thirty-three months in prison, said a press release from the United States department of justice.
According to the justice department, Kelly and his group carried out the fake threats on journalists, a former U.S. cabinet member, the university which he once attended, a historic black Church in Virginia, and an Islamic centre in Texas.
In late 2018, John worked with conspirators to call in a fake bomb threat to his former university, Old Dominion University in Virginia. Kelley managed a online chat room, where he and the fellow conspirators regularly engaged and coordinated in swatting or calling police with invented crises.
Most of the people he worked with were white supremacists and they targeted people based on ‘race’.
“Swatting attacks are serious crimes that disrupt the operations of local emergency agencies, take first responders away from real emergencies, and place victims, community members, and law enforcement officers in grave danger,” Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), said in a press release.
Before being sentenced to thirty-three months in prison, Kelley said in Alexandria federal court, “I am really sorry, I hope to return to the community as a better man.”
“The words I used online ‘do not represent my values and my beliefs’ and I was “personally disgusted” by the “bad influences” I befriended, he said.