California teen accused of swatting call that threatened mass shooting at Florida mosque

A teenager in California has been charged with multiple felonies for allegedly orchestrating a swatting call that led law enforcement officers to a mosque in Florida.

Alan Winston Filion, 17, of Lancaster, California, was extradited to Seminole County, Florida, on Tuesday following his arrest on Jan. 18, 2024, with assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

Investigators said Filion deceived deputies from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) into dispatching numerous deputies to the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida, on May 12, 2023, claiming there was a mass shooting. A phone call threatening the shooting was accompanied by references to Satanism, the possession of weapons, and simulated gunfire, authorities said.


Alan Winston Filion, 17, of Lancaster, California. [Credit: Seminole County Sheriffs Office]

The SCSO Domestic Security Division, in collaboration with the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, identified Filion as the suspect. Following a search warrant served by the FBI on July 15, 2023, Filion was arrested based on incriminating evidence gathered from seized devices. 


Filion was apprehended and charged as an adult with multiple felony counts related to false reports, unlawful use of communication devices, and swatting. He was booked into the Los Angeles Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall and transported to Florida, where he is held without bond at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.

The investigation, conducted with support from the Seattle, Los Angeles, and Tampa FBI field offices, as well as various law enforcement partners, suggests Filion may be linked to other swatting incidents nationwide, investigators said. 

In a statement sent to FOX 35 News, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma emphasized the gravity of swatting. 

"Swatting is a perilous and senseless crime, which puts innocent lives in dangerous situations and drains valuable resources," he said. "The substantial law enforcement response in this swatting case underscores our unwavering dedication to community safety and holding offenders accountable, regardless of where they are located." 

Sheriff Lemma expressed gratitude to collaborating agencies and issued a stern warning that swatting will face zero tolerance. 

The Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit, will prosecute the case.