Two charged in Bills-Bucs wiretap incident

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.

84 responses to “Two charged in Bills-Bucs wiretap incident

  1. You can sure dish it out, but you can’t take it Goodell.
    Hug it out bro…and not just any hug…one of your super cool draft day hugs.

  2. Does either of them have a short, fast talking Italian cousin who became a lawyer and is dating Marisa Tomei?

  3. Is it that boring in Massaschsetts? Really? Gee I’m bored, let’s prank call two terrible NFL GMs. LOL. Could have been using that time to watch RGIII Highlights or browse a popular Pro Football Website. #Fail

  4. U.S. Attorney is probably making a “Community Service” deal. Based on their expertise of wire tapping, they’ll work directly fro Eric Holder.

  5. Throw the book at them. These violent criminals need to be kept off the streets and away from our children. Think of the children!

    The children!

  6. If only this had been rape, DUI or drug use, and they possessed other-wordly athletic ability, then Goddell and the NFL hypocrites could let them off with a slap on the wrist. Way to “scare them straight.” And if you’re a GM who is stupid enough to get punked like that, then you deserve the mild inconvenience and embarrassment (ahem, Nix, Dominik).

  7. You hope they get 3 years, wow. They deserve to lose 3 years of their life for a prank call. I was thinking 24 hours community service.

  8. These guys also showed poor judgment in the selection of their victims. If you’re going to risk going to jail for punking two NFL General Managers, why in the world would you not choose Jerry Jones to be one of them??

  9. I keep forgetting only the Feds can break the law & trample on citizens civil & legal rights without being held accountable & punished!

    Yeah now legs go after a couple of lame brain prankster kids to set an example in futility when a simple conversation would probably scare them straight.

    Way to go! I won’t hold my breath but hopefully someone will wake up to some common sense about this.

  10. if there is one thing the government loves to do, its to mess with the little guy instead of going after the big fish

    why hasnt anyone been jailed for the failed economy, yet, we want to put kids who cant even drink legally behind bars for playing on phones.

    talk about freedom, i hate this country some times.

  11. wow bunch of juvenile delinquents on this site… who would have thought?

    these ADULTS knowingly did something wrong, got caught trying to become internet famous, and got busted. Good for them. If you can’t break the law without getting caught, good for you. And, when you submit the evidence yourself, well, I mean, how productive are you going to be with your short lived life? Not very.

  12. If Nix knew how to operate a computer, he could have just sent a quick email to Domenik. Maybe it’s time to fire all these old morons hogging all the cushy jobs.

  13. Yeah because the USA is so perfect in how they do everything, so people should be punished to the max when they do something wrong.

    Sounds kind of hypocritical. How about the political leaders of this country put themselves in jail first, and then we discuss what time these kids should serve?

  14. Sorry that you boys are facing criminal charges, but the law applies to both nefarious acts and goofing. The real crime here, though, is that Nix Nd Dominik are NFL GMs.

  15. I think this is more about the embarrassment to the “badge” for exposing the Bills GM as a total freaking crackpot. Proving again that you can be dumb as a stone and still lead a multi-million dollar org.

  16. Dumb kids… Yes they are not juveniles but they are just dumb kids! I really hope these idiots don’t get jail time for this they should get a slap in the wrist maybe community service. If your going to lock someone up for playing pranks lock up Ashton Kutcher these kids were actually funny.

  17. They will get their wrists slapped and that’s it. That’s all they should get. All it did was confirm Buddy Nix was a tad out to lunch.

    No harm no foul.

  18. Wow! And if they Dominik was in Florida at the time, they could also face state charges for non-consensual recording of communication, as they have a two-party consent law in place that requires all participants of a call to consent to it being recorded. If not, they could probably argue that since they initiated the call, they consented to the recording, and that should be sufficient. That won’t hold in Florida.

  19. Outing the conversation shared between executives of multimillion dollar NFL franchises is gonna carry some more weight than the ole “Is your refrigerator running?” joke.

    These two dudes sent it to an outfit to get national exposure quickly. They knew what they had, and cannot be ‘babes in the woods’ now. I think they will be in some serious trouble.

  20. Unreal…. unfricken real, what a joke. What a harmless prank and these kids are going to go through hell, for being kids… Police state is out of control. The drastic changes from how my parents lived their childhood, to how I had to live mine, to seeing whats happening to kids nowadays makes me not even want to have kids… this is getting out of control. Really your going to waste MY tax dollars to prosecute some kids playing a prank on 2 rich men who should have the means to know something was amiss in the first place?!?!?!?!?!? EMBARESSING. To many cops, too much time, too stupid of rules, this country has gone to hell.

  21. Really? Then explain to me why our government is recording and storing all phone calls, text messages, e mails, twitter feeds, face book posts and the like….. And that is somehow legal? But a couple of idiots pulling a prank is a felonious act…..

  22. It’s like because we’re the Bills we just aren’t famous/important enough to worry about random people calling us. I mean come on, do you think Jerry Jones or Ozzie Newsome is just listed in the freakin’ phone book? How is it that you can literally just call our general manager at his office? Ya know, who was 72 at the time.

  23. I knew that the PFT commentariat was a bunch of fun-hating tightbums after reading the comments after the NFL Agents vs. Jay-Z story, but people wanting these brilliant and hilarious young American heroes to do jail time merely for being brilliant and hilarious at the expense of a couple of humorless and self-important NFL execs.

  24. In the grand scheme of things, these guys did something pretty cool, and these charges are really lame. Nobody got hurt. Nobody lost money. A couple people were probably annoyed for a few hours. Lots of people were entertained.

  25. Hmmm what is a better use of the portion of my my tax dollars that goes to the court system? Persecuting prank callers or keeping real serious criminals off the street?

  26. First off, I never knew it was that easy to get ahold of an NFL GM, much less 2 NFL GMs.

    Next, who is dumbest in all this? Is it the old man whose grasp on cell phone usage is tenuous at best? Is it the 2 college aged guys that got their kicks but didn’t know when to quit and ultimately doomed themselves? Or is it the court system that is going to waste time and money prosecuting two guys that pulled off a rather clever, and in hindsight harmless, prank just to make an example out of them?

    I really hope these guys don’t have to do time over this. A fine, community service, probation, etc. should be sufficient. If anything, punish the offices of the two NFL teams that managed to let a couple of teenagers with an iPhone eavesdrop on GM small talk.

  27. Wow a lot of wound up authoritarian types on this site. Sounds like ya’ll need to hug a few things out.

    Law enforcement in this country has lost all common sense & distinction.

    Its an elitist prosecution. You think they’d give a r**ts *ss if this was done to your average mom & pop establishment?

    What ever happened to “boys will be boys?”

  28. Apparently, a lot of posters on here would not mind their privacy being invaded. It’s just a “prank”, right? How about 20 year old “boys” filming you inside your home without your knowledge? Until it’s on YouTube. How far does it have to go? Intentional invasion of privacy on any level deserves punishment. However, prison is definitely not the answer. A good caning would save money and still be appropriate.

  29. Around 86-87, my idiot friends and I would call Dominos and then call Pizza Hut and then laugh really loud when they answered their phones and their rivsl was on the otherbline. Pot may or may not have been involved.

    How many Federal crimes is that? Wait a minute, what’s the statute of limitations? Maybe in just kidding about all of this.

  30. Why is a lot of people sayin these guys are kids? 20 years old is not a kid but an adult. I’m all for having fun and messing with people but these guys knew what they were doing. Messing with GM’s to a multimillion franchises is totally different than to prank your neighbors. And I feel these guys were tryin to sabotage the bills. Sometimes tryin to be a funny guy or an internet hero comes with a price.

  31. I am convinced it’s the entitlement mentality of those in the N.E. Almost like they can never be touched. They relatives Bill? They grow ’em different up there I guess.

  32. It would be real interesting to know what other social engineering jobs they have pulled off in their day. It is unbelievable, though, that they didn’t suspect anything they did was illegal, so maybe they are just really dumb and there is nothing else to know?

  33. When I was in my early 20s it was the rise of cable modems and early cable modems worked like a big shared network — so you could download programs to scan your segment and pull up shared folders on other peoples computers. So I used to do this, find peoples resumes, and then call the people from their “jobs” and tell them they were fired (since I had all their information from their resume in front of me) — I’d tell them not to report to work and their last check would be mailed out.

    Man that was fun, I used to go to work and make these calls on speaker phone so everyone could listen.

    Those were the days.

    Anyways this is a case of boys being boys and so was mine, the deal always was don’t get caught. These morons actually made their stuff public, which was stupid. They should get a little scared straight promo done on them and then let be. If they do it again then give them a chair.

  34. This prank had major reverberation amongst the Bills organization. 1) How could Buffalo keep Fitzpatrick after Nix complained of being stuck with his contract? They couldn’t and he was released quickly after the tape was made public. 2) How could Russ Brandon keep Nix after such a public embarrassment? He couldn’t and that lead to a much quicker hook in favor if Doug Whaley. Could end up being the best thing to happen to the Bills in a long time.

  35. I say give these kids jobs. What they did was clever and hilarious. Also as a Bills fan, I thank them for it. It was nice to hear some true statements from NFL teams. I have to wonder if this whole thing weighed in on Nix’s decision to step down.

  36. For those of you who think such a prank is funny or boys will be boys, there are laws governing identity theft and fraud (impersonation using mail or oral communication). I am not a lawyer but it appears that they came close to some sort of violation.

  37. I remember pranking 800 numbers from pay phones when I was a kid. They asked for it. 800 numbers are toll free. When you are a kid with no money, it was free fun. I must have ruined it for these guys.

  38. “The situation came to light when the man-children, oblivious to the fact that any law had been broken…”

    ——————————–

    Seriously? They’re 20! If they don’t know that wiretapping is illegal then they NEED to go to prison.

    I’ve done stupid things in my lifetime as well but I am completely in favor of prosecuting these two ADULTs. They deserve whatever is coming their way. How can you think there won’t be any legality issues when you’re recording two top dogs of any company.

    They’re probably the two same “kids” who shop lift and thinks it’s okay because the store makes plenty of money anyways. Or cheat of tests because everyone else does it.

  39. This isn’t just a “prank phone call” as so many have suggested. It’s not like ordering a pizza to your unsuspecting neighbor’s house. And anyway, they recorded their crime and submitted it to a media outlet. When you violate the law in such a public and undeniable way, it cannot be ignored and you are bound to be prosecuted. This is an age where cops, those assigned with our protection, can’t make an arrest on the street without it being recorded on a cell phone and scrutinized. Well, it goes both ways, fair citizens. Don’t open yourself up to that scrutiny by recording your crime YOURSELF and making it public…

  40. Justice system is out of control. Violent muggers free, shady ponzi schemes where people lose their life savings, robbery’s at gunpoint, terroristic threats, on and on and on. But our tax dollars working to prosecute very young adults for pulling a prank on some high rollers? Meanwhile, rob a mom & pop C-store and you’ll get away scott free. But make a prank call to the wrong person and you’re going to jail! Pathetic use of power and tax dollars = our government at work.. Quit trying to send the wrong messages to kids and put your time in to use fixing society’s real problems.

  41. Hey G-O-O-D-E-L-L…….. Leave them kids alone!……. If you don’t eat your meat you can’t have any pudding…. You can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!!!

  42. thejohnsmith1122 I think that “man-children” quote was alluding to an opinion that they are in fact adults who were acting like children. At least that’s my interpretation of it. I think PFT is with you, and I am too. Ignorance of the law is not a defense of breaking it. These punk’s recorded their crimes and submitted the recording to a media outlet. Even if the teams and prosecutors didn’t want to seek legal action, I think their hands are tied.

  43. Why are people freaking out about the fact that these kids will be prosecuted for a CRIME?! Just because there are unsolved rapes and murders out there, it doesn’t mean you look the other way on petty theft simply because it is a lesser crime. IT IS STILL A CRIME! Not only that, but since they recorded it themselves and made it public, it is a fairly cut-and-dried case, right? Prosecutors have to pursue this, in lieu of sending a message that certain crimes are okay in certain situations. This isn’t a man stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, this is two punks doing something that, whether you see it this way or not, had potentially damaging effects to two different NFL organizations.

    If another NFL employee pranked these two guys, recorded it, and made it public, regardless of the intention, the tune on here would be very, very different. Since when is breaking the law subjective?

  44. They violated the privacy of citizens of the united states. No one here can say they wouldn’t be mad if it happened to them, resulting in the possibility of getting the victims in trouble.

    The perpetrators deserve jail time, though I think 3-6 months would be sufficient. After all, it should create within them a desire to never do it again.

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