Individual arrested for threats made to schools, businesses following multiagency coordination
SCOTTSDALE – On Tuesday, a juvenile male living in the United Kingdom was arrested related to his alleged involvement connected to telephonic threats made to multiple locations, including several Scottsdale schools and businesses, on April 8 and April 11. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Phoenix and London offices worked closely with the Scottsdale Police Department and British law enforcement to track down the individual near Manchester, England.
The teenage defendant, currently in law enforcement custody, is alleged to have made several threats claiming he was armed with a firearm and was going to “shoot up” a certain school or on his way to a certain school. The suspect is accused of offenses stemming from the numerous “swatting” calls he made to schools and businesses over the past several days. Further, he is also accused of possessing indecent images of children and distributing them across the internet.
Each threat made was taken seriously, investigated thoroughly, and no credible threat was found on the school campuses or other locations. The initial threats on April 8, did force several schools to go into temporary lockdown until the threats could be confirmed as false. Law enforcement immediately began tracking the numerous threats and working on locating the origin and suspect information. Additional threats on April 11, appeared to share a common origin with the previous incidents.
The Scottsdale Schools that were affected were: Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, Notre Dame Preparatory Academy, Scottsdale Unified School District Office, Pima Traditional School, Hohokam Elementary, Cheyenne Traditional School, and Cochise Elementary.
Scottsdale Businesses that were affected were: Tommy V’s, OHSO Distillery, and Desert Schools Federal Credit Union.
The public needs to understand that making threats of violence against individuals, businesses, and school facilities are serious crimes, and they will be meticulously investigated by law enforcement.
The suspect will remain in the United Kingdom where he will go through the justice system.
HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.