Swatting Saga: 17-Year-Old Faces Felony Charges in Florida

A 17-year-old residing in California has been apprehended and extradited to Florida to answer for charges related to a “swatting” incident at the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford last year.

Swatting involves making false 911 calls, typically reporting a mass shooting or other violent scenarios, with the intention of provoking an intense police response.

Alan Winston Filion, aged 17, is being treated as an adult in this legal matter. The charges against him include felony counts of filing false reports, unlawful use of communication devices, and engaging in swatting activities.

According to law enforcement, Filion dialed 911, falsely claiming an imminent mass shooting at the mosque, accompanying his call with background audio of gunfire. Responding swiftly, numerous officers arrived at the scene only to discover that the call was a hoax.

Investigations indicate that Filion may be responsible for numerous swatting calls nationwide, targeting institutions such as schools, historically black colleges, residences of FBI agents, and even his own home.

It is alleged that Filion promoted his swatting services on Telegram, offering to carry out such calls for others and sharing audio recordings of his previous exploits.

Currently held without bail at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility, Filion could face additional charges in states where other swatting incidents occurred, beyond the charges he is presently facing in Florida.

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