Two youths face federal charges arising from a prank that became less humorous once they realized they had violated federal law.
Joshua Barber, 20 and Nicholas Kaiser, 20, of Plymouth, Massachusetts arranged a phone call between former Bills G.M. Buddy Nix and Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik. Then, Barber and Kaiser recorded the call without the knowledge of Nix and Dominik.
Per WGRZ-TV, Barber and Kaiser now face federal charges of “intentionally intercepting a wire communication and with making a telephone call without disclosing their identity with the intent to annoy or harass the person at the called number.”
The situation came to light when the man-children, oblivious to the fact that any law had been broken, forwarded the fruits of their pranks to Deadspin, which published the call.
We knew from the moment we saw the story that criminal charges would be coming. The buzz at the league meetings in late March was that the men will be charged, with the goal of scaring them straight — and of sending a strong message to others who may be inclined to record phone calls secretly, and nonchalantly.
The prank began with the men trying to call Nix’s office. When they got through to his assistant, they left a message from Dominik. Nix then repeatedly tried to call their phone, looking for Dominik.
They decided to try to complete the phone-a-friend-clusterfudge by contacting Dominik and pretending to be Nix. As they were in the process of contacting Dominik, Nix called again. They decided to link the two up and let nature takes its course.
Now, the legal system will run its course. If the defendants are lucky, they’ll get probation or some other outcome that won’t entail jail time. If they were smart, they never would have secretly recorded the call, and they definitely wouldn’t have forwarded it to a media outlet.