A member of a worldwide computer hacking group was sentenced Monday to nearly eight years in federal prison for making bogus shooting and bombing threats against schools both abroad and domestically, including some in Southern California, and possessing child pornography.
Timothy Dalton Vaughn, 22, of North Carolina, pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to make threats and damage a computer, computer hacking and possession of child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Otis Wright II sentenced Vaughn to a prison term of 95 months on the child pornography possession charge and 60 months for each of the other charges. The terms are to be served concurrently.
According to his plea agreement, Vaughn admitted providing a co-defendant with contact information for at least 86 school districts that later received emailed threats of an armed student, imminent detonation of bombs or the placement of explosives under school buses or on athletic fields.
He also admitted a 2018 computer-hacking ransom attack on a Long Beach motorsports company, in which he demanded bitcoin payment equivalent to about $20,000, then initiated a denial-of-service attack on the company's website when it refused to pay.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Vaughn also admitted helping a co-defendant make a bogus threat of a hijacking on a United Airlines plane flying from London to San Francisco, and admitted possessing nearly 200 sexually explicit photos and videos of children.