Shaman tracked down by Hunter in World of Warcraft
So you’re sitting behind your keyboard at home typing away thinking the vast wasteland that is the internet will keep your identity a secret, think again. Two weeks ago, Howard County Sheriff’s Department deputy Matt Roberson tracked down a wanted fugitive through one of the most popular games on the Internet — World of Warcraft.
I’ve always known the Horde were a bunch of criminals, but this takes the cake. Alfred Hightower, also known as the Taren Shaman Rastlynn was wanted for dealing a variety of drugs including marijuana. He has had an arrest warrant out on him since 2007, but had eluded capture for the past two years. After some keen detective work and a tip from a childhood friend Roberson was able to discover that Hightower had fled to Canada and started playing Warcraft.
“We received information that this guy was a regular player of an online game, which was referred to as ‘some warlock and witches’ game,” said Roberson. “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.”
Roberson then sent a subpoena to Blizzard HQ in California, but he knew it was a long shot. Because of jurisdiction, the ambiguity of the internet and the fact that Blizzard was not compelled by law to respond chances were that Roberson would never hear back from them.
Three months had gone by and Roberson had put the subpoena in the back of his mind when he received a package from Blizzard. They had provided him with all the information on Hightower including his IP address, his account information and history, his billing address, and even his online screen name and preferred server.
“I did a search off the IP address to locate him,” said Roberson. “I got a longitude and latitude. Then I went to Google Earth. It works wonders. It uses longitude and latitude. Boom! I had an address. I was not able to go streetside at the location, but I had him.”
Not long after locating Hightower’s address the U.S. Marshals contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Border Services Agency. Soon after Hightower was arrested in Ottawa, Ontario and was deported.
So the next time you are in a horrible pug and the Shaman goes AFK forever he might just have been arrested on drug charges. Remember kids, the internet might be the wild west, but even in the west the long arm of the law can find you.
P.S. Check out his Hightower’s Armory profile, lolz!