Mexican Authorities, FBI Round Up Four Locals Indicted for Cybercrimes Last Week
Turns out, reports of Michael Faulkner's death were highly exaggerated. Special Agent Mark White, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Dallas spokesman, tells Unfair Park today that the Southlake resident -- who was among the 19 indicted by a federal grand jury last week for a "massive cybercrime conspiracy" -- was arrested today by Mexican authorities at his home in Cancun. Also taken into custody: his wife Chastity and Jason and William Watts, both of Plano. All were named in the indictment.
"Chastity was arrested while driving their children to school," White says, "and Michael was arrested at home. Jason and William Watts were at the house as well."
Last week, if you'll recall, the U.S. Attorney's Office, in releasing the indictment, noted that "one anonymous internet report suggested that Michael Faulkner was killed attempting to reenter the U.S. from Mexico." White says authorities still aren't sure who posted that.
The foursome will be back in Dallas tonight or tomorrow, White says; they're actually being deported, as the FBI worked with Mexican authorities to make the arrests today. White couldn't say for how long the four had been under surveillance before they were taken into custody. "I know our initial investigation said they'd first fled to Monterrey," White says, "but I don't know when they moved to Cancun."
Last week's indictments are tied to the April 2009 raid at 2323 Bryan Street and the feds' seizures at Core IP Networks' data center downtown, which left dozens of innocent companies and Internet service providers in the dark. So happens, I have the original search warrant on the Faulkners' Southlake home -- it's after the jump. The house was abandoned (of course) and is in the process of being seized by Tarrant County authorities.
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