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Hearing set for New Mexico man in Delaware swatting case

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WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge is holding a plea hearing for a New Mexico man accused of posing as another person to make bomb threats against an elementary school and a Walmart in southern Delaware.

A plea hearing was scheduled to be held Monday for Stephen Scott Landes. Prosecutors say Landes falsely reported in May 2018 that he had planted bombs at the Georgetown school and the Walmart while claiming to be a Georgetown resident.

Such schemes, which cause police and SWAT teams to respond to fake emergencies, are known as “swatting.”

Authorities say the Delaware incident stemmed from an online feud between Landes and Rodney Allen Phipps, of Georgetown, who himself is accused of falsely reporting shootings and other emergencies at locations in five states.

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