Man with ties to Columbus added to FBI’s most wanted list

Man with ties to Columbus added to FBI’s most wanted list


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The FBI is searching for an alleged swatter, who could possibly be located in central Ohio.

According to the FBI, Brayden Grace, 18, is wanted for his alleged involvement in conspiring to place and causing to be placed, swatting calls to multiple police and emergency departments across the Unites States, including one in which he threatened to blow up Hollywood Casino in west Columbus.

Agents are reportedly searching for Grace, who is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, in eastern Ohio and in northeast Columbus.

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The FBI said Grace, along with other conspirators, were part of an online group known as “Purgatory,” which reportedly placed swatting calls between Dec. 10 and Jan. 18. The group is believed to have used multiple online social media platforms, including Telegram and Instagram, to coordinate and plan their alleged swatting activities.

On April 20, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Grace, who is from Columbus and may be in the area of Morse Road and Karl Road near the Clinton Estates neighborhood. He is charged with conspiracy, interstate stalking, interstate threatening communication and interstate threat involving fire or explosives.

  • Courtesy Photos/Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Courtesy Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland said that Grace, along with Owen Jarboe, of Hagerstown, Maryland, and Evan Strauss, of Moneta, Virginia, and others would use the social media platforms to coordinate and plan their swatting activities and announce swats that they had conducted. The suspects would often use shared scripts to obfuscate their phone numbers and identities.

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Grace and his co-conspirators are allged to have been involved in the following, according to the superseding indictment:

  • A threat to burn down a residential trailer park in Alabama

  • A shooting threat against a teacher and unnamed students at a high school in the state of Delaware

  • A shooting and bomb threat to the Albany International Airport in New York

  • A shooting and bomb threat against Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Ohio

  • A multiple homicide event and shooting threat against individuals in a residence in Eastman, Georgia.

According to court documents, Grace called Hollywood Casino on Jan. 5 under the moniker “bit coin” and threatened a shooting and burning down the building unless he received $100,000 in cash and a helicopter.

Grace is described as 5 feet 9 and 160 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. In addition to Columbus, he reportedly also has ties to North Lima, Ohio.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in federal prison for each count of conspiracy, cyberstalking and interstate threat and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each charge to damage or destroy by means of fire and explosive.

Anyone with information is asked to contact your the FBI office in Cincinnati at (513) 421-4310.

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