A gamer known online as “Famed God” — who made up a murder to get police to go to an unsuspecting west suburban resident’s home last year — is behind bars in Nevada awaiting extradition.
Brandon Willson, 19, was arrested Thursday after authorities searched his home in the 4600 block of El Presidente Drive in Las Vegas, a statement from the Will County state’s attorney’s office said.
Willson used a computer to contact Naperville’s 911 center on July 10, 2014, and claimed a murder had happened at a home in the city, prosecutors claim. Naperville’s Special Response Team responded but found no crime.
The practice involves someone falsely reporting a dangerous situation to send police to another person’s home. It is known as “swatting” because the hoax calls can lead to deployment of SWAT teams.
Calling it a “dangerous prank,” State’s Attorney James Glasgow plans to craft legislation that would make swatting a felony in Illinois, the statement said. The bill would also require anyone convicted of swatting to reimburse municipalities for the cost of the emergency response.
Authorities also claim Willson hacked into the gaming consoles to obtain or change personal information belonging to two people — one from Naperville, and another from Plainfield, the statement said.
He also threatened the Naperville resident that he would access the person’s bank and Social Security accounts, and put the person’s father “in debt for life,” prosecutors claim.
As part of the investigation, Naperville police traveled to Las Vegas to help local police execute a search warrant at Willson’s home. Computers seized there contained evidence of the swatting incident, as well as similar incidents across the country, prosecutors claim.
Willson, known as “Famed God” in the online gaming community, was arrested after FBI agents and Las Vegas police interviewed him Thursday, prosecutors said.
He is charged with two counts of computer tampering and one count each of intimidation, computer fraud, identity theft and disorderly conduct, the state’s attorney’s office said.
He is awaiting extradition to Illinois, and faces up to five years in prison if convicted, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Authorities from Illinois, Texas, California, South Carolina and Nevada continue to investigate, along with the FBI.