Fugitive Tracked Through WoW

January 4, 2010

It seems as though law enforcement has a tight grip on just about everything. Indiana newspaper The Kokomo Perspective (what a name) reported that a local Sheriff’s Department successfully tracked down a fugitive through his World of Warcraft account with Blizzard’s help.

Alfred Hightower (no relation to the big black dude on Police Academy), who was wanted on drug-dealing charges, had a warrant out for his arrest since sometime in 2007, but had left the United States and jumped over to the Canadian border in order to avoid arrest. The funny thing? Some sources told authorities that Hightower was addicted to “some warlock and witches game.”

We all know how huge World of Warcraft is. It has an install base of a millions of users, which is why its no surprise that Deputy Sheriff Matt Roberson, who was also World of Warcraft player, was easily able to identify the popular MMO. Because the game itself is just as addicting as methamphetamine, authorities suspected that Hightower would probably not give up playing his account so easily. Roberson contacted Blizzard with a subpoena and, after a few months, the well-known developer sent the Deputy Sheriff Hightower’s IP address, billing address, online screen name, preferred server, and account information and history – even though Blizzard didn’t have to.

US Marshals were contacted, the Canadian Mounties got involved, Hightower was deported from Canada and then arrested once over the US border.

Now, I could only imagine what it must have been like if he was raiding at the time the Mounties trampled his door down with their horses as he was raiding 10 or 25 man Ice Crown Citadel. Ventrilo must have been extremely interesting that night. The worst part? If he was tanking or healing, his group was screwed.

Thanks, Jake!

[The Kokomo Perspective]

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Yaris Gutierrez

Born and raised in New York City, Yaris is one of three co-founders at DualShockers. Gaming since the inception of Nintendo in the 80's, he has grown to avidly appreciate games of every genre, maturing his preference specifically now to third-person action games, first-person shooters and JRPGs. He's a software engineer, father and husband during the day, and mildly attempts to hold onto his "hardcore gamer" title during the evenings. An attempt that he tends to fail miserably at.

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