OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A Hayward man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for making hundreds of harassing and obscene phone calls to domestic and
international law enforcement agencies, prosecutors said.
Sammy Sultan, 44, admitted in his plea agreement to making hundreds of calls in which he typically asked to speak to a female officer or sergeant, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
In the calls, Sultan admitted, he made a variety of false claims to convince officers that he was a threat to others or himself and he did so in part to engage female officers in protracted conversations.
Sultan admitted that he sometimes said he had escaped from a mental hospital and might harm himself if the person on the other end of the line refused to answer his questions.
Federal prosecutors said Sultan also admitted that sometimes he claimed that he possessed a handgun, an AK-47 or an automatic rifle and that he was holding a woman hostage.
In addition, Sultan admitted he took several steps to conceal his identity, using a number of different phones in addition to using spoofing services that created temporary “burner” numbers concealing his real phone numbers.
While on the phone with law enforcement, Sultan would refuse to give his identity when asked, according to federal prosecutors.
Sultan admitted that he knew his calls would result in extensive efforts by law enforcement officers in the U.S. and abroad to trace the calls and try to identify him, his location and the location and identity of any hostages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
In addition, Sultan admitted that he knew his actions would result in a substantial disruption of public, governmental and business functions.
He was charged with one count of making obscene or harassing telephone calls and one count of making threatening interstate communications.
Sultan pleaded guilty to the obscene and harassing phone calls charge on Dec. 13 and the threat charge was dismissed. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton on Wednesday.