Alfred Hightower was your typical drug dealer who successfully ran to Canada to elude U.S. authorities. But due to his video game habits, he was successfully tracked down and is now in custody.
In 2007, Indiana’s Howard County Sheriff’s Department issued a warrant for Hightower’s arrest, but because of his rogue like elusiveness, he managed to escape authorities. Through a criminal investigation, Howard County deputy Matt Roberson discovered his video game addiction, and learned he was hiding out in Canada.
But how did U.S. authorities managed to mount a real life raid? Read on to find out.
“We received information that this guy was a regular player of an online game, which was referred to as ‘some warlock and witches’ game,” Roberson told The Perspective. “None of that information was sound enough to pursue on its own, but putting everything we had together gave me enough evidence to send a subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment. I knew exactly what he was playing — World of Warcraft. I used to play it. It’s one of the largest online games in the world.”
Blizzard released Hightower’s account information, IP address, screen name, billing address and even the server he regularly played on. Soon after, authorities apprehended him and is now awaiting trial.
“You hear stories about you can’t get someone through the Internet,” said Roberson. “Guess what? You can. I just did. Here you are, playing World of Warcraft, and you never know who you’re playing with.”
The lesson that should be learned here: if you play World of Warcraft and make a living through illegal means, then you will be sent to jail.