California Teen Responsible For Hundreds Of Swatting Calls Arrested

A California teenager has been arrested for his involvement in multiple swatting incidents across the country. Alan Winston Filion of Lancaster, California, was extradited to Florida on Jan. 30 for charges related to a swatting call made to a mosque, according to the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office.

The teen is being charged as an adult and is currently facing four felonies and a misdemeanor for a call he made in May 2023 to 911 dispatchers, in which he told them, “I’m going to commit a mass shooting in the name of Satan.” In that call, he was targeting the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida.

The call resulted in at least 30 law enforcement officers showing up at the mosque to realize that it was a hoax.

According to court documents, Filion made several swatting calls to different institutions, including high schools, historically black colleges, military bases, the Pentagon and more.
Swatting is the act of making false 911 calls to have a large law enforcement presence at a particular location.

Filion’s posts on Telegram were being tracked by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. They discovered the teen offering his services, along with recordings of swatting calls. Authorities assume that Filion has made hundreds of swatting calls nationwide, including Texas, Louisiana, Washington, Maryland, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

“The teen’s arrest affidavit states that he has been offering to treat this like a job since 2021, offering to make swatting calls for money all over the country,” FOX 35 News reported. “Investigators captured an online post they said Filion made, offering to call 911 about a gas leak or fire for $40 or make a mass shooting or bomb threat for $75.”

Since November, at least 30 politicians, journalists and other political figures have been the victims of swatting. The latest victim was Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN). On Jan. 28, 911 dispatch sent several officers to his home. Thankfully, no one was home at the time, or hurt, according to the representative.

“Swatting is a perilous and senseless crime, which puts innocent lives in dangerous situations and drains valuable resources,” Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said in a statement. “Make no mistake, we will continue to work tirelessly in collaboration with our policing partners and the judiciary to apprehend swatting perpetrators.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is a victim of swatting. Last month, he introduced the Preserving Safe Communities by Ending Swatting Act, along with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), which would result in up to 20 years in prison for anyone who makes a swatting call that results in someone getting hurt.

“They want people to get injured,” Scott told FOX 35 News. “So it’s clearly a crime. And if somebody gets injured, you need to go to jail for a long period of time for doing this. It’s evil.”

Filion pled not guilty and is being held without bail at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.

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