July 09, 2015 - 1:00 PM
PORT COQUITLAM - A British Columbia teenager has been sentenced to 16 months in jail for online pranks and threats that caused mayhem in communities as far away as Ontario, California and Florida.
The 17-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to 23 charges, including criminal harassment, extortion and public mischief.
A provincial court judge in Port Coquitlam, B.C., also sentenced him to eight months' supervision but when time served is tallied, the boy could be out of jail by early next year.
The teen, who can't be named because of his age, has also been banned from using the Internet.
The youth was charged after several so-called swatting incidents, a type of cyber crime where a hacker seizes computer addresses to fake an emergency, sending a SWAT team or police to unsuspecting victims.
Court heard the targets were mainly women playing video games online but that in one case the teen's hoax prompted a bomb squad to respond in California.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015