- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 24, 2018

A California man who made national headlines last year after his false hostage claims led to another man’s death was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for making bomb threats to the Federal Communications Commission and FBI.

*Tyler Raj Barriss last year generated national attention for reporting a phony hostage situation at the Wichita, Kansas, residence where he lived in December 2017. The incident resulted in the death of Andrew Finch. Calling law enforcement to report a fake emergency is commonly called “swatting.”

Mr. Barriss, who is originally from Los Angeles, was already in federal custody for the incident. He was indicted in Kansas earlier this week on charges related to Mr. Finch’s death.

On Thursday, a separate grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Mr. Barriss for bomb hoaxes that occurred about two weeks before the swatting.

He threatened the FCC on the same day the agency voted to repeal Obama-era net neutrality regulations, prosecutors said. The threat resulted in a brief evacuation from the meeting.

One week later, he allegedly made a similar bomb threat to the FBI, according to the Justice Department.

Mr. Barriss is charged with two counts of making hoax bomb threats. Each charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

(* Correction: Tyler Raj Barriss’ name was incorrectly spelled in a previous version of the story.)

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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