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Man Sentenced To Prison In False Report Of Hostages Incident In Ventura County

Posted on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 4:20pm

A Massachusetts man accused of making a number of false 911 calls and threats to communities around the country, including Ventura County, has been sentenced to two and a half years behind bars.

Prosecutors say on January 2nd of this year, Nathan Athol called the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, and said he was armed with an assault rifle. He demanded money, and a helicopter ride to Mexico, or he would use a bomb to kill hostages.

Sheriff’s deputies, FBI agents, and other emergency personnel arrived at the location, only to discover the whole thing was a hoax.

Prosecutors say he was guilty of two other similar “swatting” incidents around the country, in which he claimed there was a major public safety threat, prompting agencies to respond in force to what were false calls.

Athol entered guilty pleas to charges he made interstate threats, he threatened to use explosives, and he threatened to use firearms.

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