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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: bellbust.txt

Anatomy of a Phone Bust, or, "How to Get Caught"




ANATOMY OF A PHONE-BUST

OR "HOW TO GET CAUGHT"





BY BENJAMIN DOVER





TYPED & SUBMITTED BY:

THE RESEACHER





I STARTED PHREAKING SEVERAL YEARS AGO

AS A RESULT OF AN ARTICLE IN THE

OCTOBER 1971 ISSUE OF ESQUIRE MAGAZINE,

BUT I WAS NEVER IN CONTACT WITH ANY

OTHER "PHONE PHREAKS". I DESIGNED AND

DEVELOPED MY OWN "BOX" WHICH WAS ABOUT

6 X 3 1/2 X 1 1/2 IN SIZE. AFTER

GETTING THE BUGS OUT, I USED MY BOX FOR

ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF.

THEN, IN THE WINTER OF '73 MY UNCLE GOT

BUSTED (I HAD MADE HIM A BOX TOO).

SINCE MY WIFE WORKED FOR MA BELL IT

DIDN'T TAKE LONG FOR THEM TO GET THEIR

SUSPICIONS UP AND PUT A TAP ON OUR

PHONE. THEN ON MARCH 10TH, OUR

APARTMENT WAS RAIDED BY BELL AND THEIR

GESTAPO STOOGES. FORTUNATELY, I HAD A

LITTLE WARNING BECAUSE THEY ALSO TRIED

ON MARCH 9TH AT 7 O'CLOCK IN THE

MORNING BUT DIDN'T GET AN ANSWER.

AFTER TEARING OUR APARTMENT APART, AND

IN THE PROCESS STEALING SOME GOOD PORNO

THAT THEY HAD NO DAMN BUSINESS TAKING,

I WAS TOLD THAT PROBABLY NOTHING ELSE

WOULD HAPPEN. LET THIS, HOWEVER, BE A

LESSON -- ON MARCH 20TH I WENT TO WORK

AT 11PM, (THE D.A.'S OFFICE KNEW I

WORKED NIGHTS) AND AT 11:45 THE LOCAL

COPS ARRESTED MY WIFE ON CALIFORNIA

PENAL CODE 702 (B) FRAUD, A

MISDEMEANOR. I WENT TO BAIL HER OUT AS

SOON AS I HEARD WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND

THEY ARRESTED ME TOO! THE BAIL WAS $300

EACH, MORE THAN WE HAD, SO I HAD TO GET

A BONDSMAN TO BAIL US OUT.

I ASKED THE COPS WHY THEY HAD SERVED

THE WARRANT SO DAMNED LATE AND THEY

SAID THAT THE D.A.'S OFFICE HAD GIVEN

THEM THOSE INSTRUCTIONS.

ON MARCH 24TH MY WIFE WAS SUSPENDED

FROM HER JOB AS A FRAMEWORKER AT

PACIFIC BELL. THIS JOB HAD NOTHING TO

DO WITH PHREAKING, THERE WERE NO PARTS

OR INFORMATION WHICH SHE COULD HAVE

SUPPLIED ME EVEN IF SHE WANTED TO, SHE

SIMPLY DIDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO SUCH

THINGS. (THE PHONE COMPANY SECURITY

PEOPLE ADMITTED THIS AS WELL).

I SAW NO EASY WAY OUT AND HIRED THE LAW

OFFICES OF RICHARD MONROE IN LOS

ANGELES SINCE THEY WERE REPUTED TO HAVE

HAD SOME LUCK IN FIGHTING THE BIG BELL.

AFTER OVER $1,200 IN ATTORNEY'S BILLS,

I FOUND OUT THAT "HARD EVIDENCE" (IE. A

BLUE BOX), WASN'T NECESSARY FOR

CONVICTION. THE  TAPES OF FIVE PHONE

CONVERSATIONS, INCLUDING CODES AND

ROUTINGS WAS EVIDENCE ENOUGH, AND WAS

LEGAL EVIDENCE IN COURT.

MONROE TOLD ME THAT WITH EXPERT

WITNESSES AND ABOUT 6 TO 7 DAYS IN

COURT, AND A BILL FOR ABOUT $6,000, I

MIGHT BEAT THE RAP. SO I CHANGED MY

PLEA TO "NO CONTEST" AS PART OF A PLEA

BARGAIN. I WAS TO PAY THE PHONE COMPANY

WHAT I OWED THEM (ABOUT $140) AND SERVE

A LITTLE SUMMARY PROBATION. THEY WOULD

IN TURN DISMISS ALL CHARGES AGAINST MY

WIFE.

WITH THAT SETTLED, WE WENT TO COURT AND

APPEARED BEFORE JUDGE BEVERLY RANCE,

WHO INCIDENTLY HAD SIGNED THE SEARCH

WARRANT. SHE WAS WILLING TO ACCEPT THE

PLEA AS APPLIED TO MY WIFE BUT BALKED

WHEN IT CAME TO ME. I WAS REFERRED TO

THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO

SENTENCING AND ORDERED TO APPEAR BEFORE

HER AGAIN IN ONE MONTH.

THE PROBATION OFFICER TRIED TO GET ME

TO ADMIT THAT I STILL HAD A BOX, WAS

SITLL OPERATING AND THAT I HAD, IN

FACT, MADE MORE CALLS THAN I HAD BEEN

CHARGED WITH. I REFUSED TO PLAY HIS

GAME SO HE DECIDED TO STICK IT TO ME.

HE RECOMMENDED BOTH JAIL AND PROBATION,

EVEN THOUGH THE PHONE COMPANY DIDN'T

WANT TO PRESS FOR JAIL AT THE TIME.

BACK IN COURT JUDGE BEVERLY, WHO HAS A

REPUTATION FOR BEING AN OLD BATTLE-AX,

WAS GIVEN THE PROBATION OFFICER'S

REPORT. SHE WAS VISABLY PLEASED AND

TOLD MY ATTORNEY THAT THE ONLY THING

WRONG WAS THAT SHE HAD CONSIDERABLY

MORE TIME IN JAIL FIGURED FOR ME. (THE

REPORT HAD RECCOMENDED 5 DAYS.) SO I

ENDED UP WITH A FINE OF $375; SIX DAYS

IN JAIL (TO BE SERVED ON WEEKENDS); SIX

MONTHS PROBATION AND RESTITUTION TO MA

BELL IN THE AMOUNT OF $145.27. LAST OF

ALL I HAD TO PROMISE NEVER TO INDULGE

IN SUCH ACTIVITY AGAIN.

ONE INTERESTING FACT CAME OUT DURING

THIS AFFAIR. MY ATTORNEY AND A FRIEND

OF MINE WENT TO EXAMINE THE PHONE

COMPANY'S EVIDENCE. PART OF THIS WAS IN

THE FORM OF COMPUTER PRINT-OUTS AND

REVEALED THAT IN ADDITION TO MY

APARTMENT, 12 OTHERS IN OUR BUILDING

HAD ALSO BEEN TAPPED. (A FACT THAT IS

NOW DENIED, AND PROBABLY ERASED FROM

THE COMPUTER IN ANY CASE.) THE PURPOSE

OF THE MULTIPLE TAPS IS TO SEE IF YOU

ARE, PERHAPS, USING SOMEONE ELSE'S LINE

TO COMMIT ILLEGAL ACTS.

IN TRYING TO ANALYZE WHY WE GOT

CAAUGHT, I CAN ONLY TELL A STORY OF MY

OWN STUPIDITY. FIRST OF ALL, WE HAD AN

UNLISTED NUMBER FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAD

TROUBLE. IT WASN'T UNTILL MY WIFE

LISTED THE PHONE IN ORDER TO TAKE HER

COMPANY DISCOUNT THAT WE STOOD OUT LIKE

A RED FLAG. MA BELL WAS CHECKING UP ON

THE NUMBERS WE WERE CALLING. SECOND, WE

GOT CARELESS WITH THE PASSING TIME TO

THE POINT OF USING NAMES WHILE CALLING.

THIRD, SOME OF MY WIFES CALLS WERE TO

FINLAND (WHERE SHE COMES FROM) AND

LASTED IN EXCESS OF AN HOUR, WHICH OF

COURSE SOUNDS THE GONG WHEN THEY START

CHECKING FOR 800 NUMBERS. AND FINALLY

WE WERE DAMNED FOOLS FOR CALLING FROM

HOME AT ALL! ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH, IN

AN EMERGENCY, FOR 5 MINUTES OR SO

PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLRIGHT, BUT

WITH MODERN DETECTION EQUIPMENT

ANYTHING FROM HOME IS REALLY FOOLISH.

I AM NOW A LITTLE WISER, AND OUT OF THE

PHONE PHREAK BUSINESS. I AM STILL

FASCINATED BY THE PHONE COMPANY,

PERHAPS MORE THAN EVER AS A RESULT OF

WHAT HAS HAPPENED. I NOW COLLECT WHAT

INFORMATION I CAN ON PHREAKING AND THE

LAW. TAKE MY ADVICE, IF YOU WANT TO

PLAY WITH MA BELL, GET TO KNOW HER

FIRST.























































































































 
 
 




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