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Conservative bloggers say they're targets of dangerous 'SWAT-ing' prank

 

Conservative bloggers say they are being terrorized by a potentially deadly prank in which phony 911 calls bring armed cops to their doors in search of criminals, all in retaliation for their blog posts.

At least two conservative Internet pundits have reported being victims of "SWAT-ing." In at least one incident, the caller claimed to be the resident of the home and confessed to shooting his wife, according to a recording of the call posted online. 

"It's a phone call that could have gotten me killed," Patrick Frey, a deputy district attorney at Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, wrote of the July, 2011 incident on his blog, Patterico's Pontifications.

The most recent incident involved blogger Erick Erickson, who claimed on his Red State site that sheriff's deputies arrived at his Macon, Ga., home Sunday night as his family gathered for dinner. He said the episode was unnerving, particularly considering one deputy had his hand on his pistol. But Erickson admitted it could have been worse had he not warned officials - in light of Frey's experience - that he anticipated being a victim.

Here's what Frey claims happened: 

Frey was awoken shortly after midnight by sheriff deputies after they received a call about a shooting inside his home. In a purported recording of the 911 call, the caller can be heard saying: “I’d like to report a shooting … I shot her, my wife.” Police ordered him at gunpoint to get outside, then handcuffed him until completing a search and finding his wife and children safe.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed to FoxNews.com that deputies responded to his Frey's house on the date in question. The department later filed a report on the incident with the FBI. 

Frey said talks with nationwide experts suggested this was a case of SWAT-ing and says he and all other victims have written about activist and convicted felon Brett Kimberlin. 

Reached by FoxNews.com, Kimberlin denied any connection to any of the attacks.  

“I had never even heard of Erick Erickson until a couple of days ago,” he told FoxNews.com Tuesday. “And I definitely don’t know where he lives.  ... I have nothing to do with the SWAT-ing of anybody.”

Kimberlin’s criminal history dates back to the 1970s.  He was convicted on felony charges in connection with the series of 1978 bombings in Speedway, Ind., in which a victim lost a leg -- Kimberlin has maintained his innocence in that case all along. He also has been convicted on charges related to an attempt to import marijuana. He gained some notoriety in 1988 after saying he had sold marijuana to Dan Quayle before he became vice president.

Frey did not return calls seeking to verify his account of the SWAT-ing incident. The address from the 911 call was omitted in the recording posted online.

Blogger Robert Stacy McCain, in an interview with FoxNews.com, on Wednesday also claimed he was harassed by Kimberlin -- though not by SWAT-ing. 

McCain said he started writing about Kimberlin on May 17 following a Maryland case in which Kimberlin had a court order to force a blogger to stop writing about him.

Within the next few days, McCain said, Kimberlin called his wife’s place of employment to say McCain was harassing him. A quick Google search on Kimberlin sent the company into “high alert,” said McCain, who claims he’s now temporarily writing from a secret location.

“To continue reporting the story, I had to get out of there or any other place where Brett Kimberlin knew where I was,” said McCain, who writes the blog The Other McCain. “But if he thinks he’s going to pull the same thing with me, he’s got another thing coming.”