A 19-year-old man from the state of Washington was arrested recently and faces numerous felony charges including those involving illegal computer access of Orange County’s 911 System, according to a news report posted on the NBC Web site .
Snohomish County resident, Randall Ellis, is believed to have gotten into the Orange County’s 911 System and placed a false report of a fatal shooting and threats at a couple’s Lake Forest residence. Ellis was 18 years old when he allegedly pulled this out-of-state prank, reports the article. Ellis’ actions reportedly resulted in a SWAT team being dispatched to the Lake Forest home and causing the couple to be put in harm’s way. Authorities also believe Ellis to be responsible for more pranks in other states that were also 911 response related.
Prosecutors are obviously taking this prank very seriously. Ellis being currently held without bail and Deputy District Attorney David Demurjian promising to seek a bail amount of at least $500,000. Ellis, if convicted, could be looking at spending up to 18 years in prison.
People tend to pull such pranks possibly with a false sense of security and the belief their actions will be untraceable. But that almost is never the case. Farrah Emami of the D.A.'s office points out in the article that the origin of Ellis’ false report was traced back using forensic computer technology by the investigators from the district attorney's High Tech Crimes Unit and sheriff's investigators.
High tech or computer crimes are serious offenses. Those alleged of hacking into bank and credit card accounts and other databases containing people’s private information stand to face many years in state or federal prison – depending on who indicts the suspects. At the same time, these are complicated crimes. Many times, it’s not as black and white as the DA makes it out to be.
There are gray areas and it takes an experienced criminal defense attorney, who has both the experience as well as the technical and investigative expertise to get to the bottom of these cases. If you or a loved one has been charged with a computer crime or a high tech crime, it would be in your best interest to contact a Southern California criminal defense attorney who specializes in these types of crimes. It could make the difference between an acquittal and doing hard prison time. Call us right away to discuss your case.