Wichita 'swatting' suspect charged in bomb threats to FCC hearing, FBI headquarters

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Tyler Barriss Tyler Barriss

Federal prosecutors have charged the California man accused in a deadly swatting incident in Wichita of making bomb threats in Washington DC.

The indictment unsealed Thursday charges 25-year-old Tyler Barriss with two counts of making hoax bomb threats. One alleged threat caused the evacuation of a high-profile Federal Communications Commission hearing, and another threat eight days later targeted FBI headquarters.

Barriss is currently jailed in Wichita where he faces state and federal charges for his role in a "swatting" last year that led to a fatal shooting by la police officer.  The federal indictment in Kansas charges Barriss with multiple counts stemming from hoax calls that ultimately led to the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch.

The incidents in Washington happened days before Finch's death.

On Dec. 14, 2017, the FCC was holding a widely-reported hearing. According to the government's evidence, Barriss made threats by phone that there were explosives in the building that were set to detonate.  The threats led to the FCC chairman halting the meeting, and the building was evacuated.  

Also, after work hours on Dec. 22, 2017, Barriss allegedly made similar threats by phone regarding explosives placed inside and outside of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters of the FBI.  

Law enforcement determined that each threat was a hoax.

Each of the federal charges in the District of Columbia carries statutory maximums of 10 years in prison and potential fines.

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