A California teenager who allegedly played gunfire sounds during a call to police to falsely report a mass shooting at a local mosque has been extradited to Seminole County to face felony charges for the “swatting” incident.
Alan Winston Filion, 17, was booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on Tuesday, less than two weeks after his arrest in Los Angeles County.
According to a statement issued by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, on May 12, 2023, authorities received a call from a male who stated he was entering the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque located at 786 Myrtle Street in Sanford in order to conduct a mass shooting.
The caller allegedly made references to Satanism and stated that he had a handgun and explosive devices. He then began playing audio of gunfire in the background of the call.
Approximately 30 law enforcement officers responded to the mosque a short time thereafter. After arriving at the scene, police found that the scene was clear of any shooter and that staff at the mosque had not been harmed.
According to the statement, SCSO Domestic Security Division detectives then began investigating the matter as a swatting incident.
Through collaboration with the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, authorities determined that Filion, of Lancaster, California, had created several accounts on websites that offered swatting services. A collection of IP addresses connected to the accounts led to Filion’s home address.
In July 2023, the FBI served a search warrant on the residence. During the execution of the search warrant, authorities allegedly obtained devices that contained incriminating evidence.
A warrant was obtained for Filion’s arrest and on January 18, 2024, he was taken into custody with the assistance of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators believe that Filion may also be connected to other swatting incidents across the United States.
Filion is being charged as an adult and is facing multiple felony charges including making a false report concerning an act of terrorism and making a false report to law enforcement concerning the commission of a capital felony. He is being held with no bond, according to court records.