Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Nix-gate cellphone pranksters appear in court


While the March 8 telephone gag on Buddy Nix may be far out of the former general manager's mind by now, it is certainly fresh for the two 20-year-old pranksters who orchestrated it.

According to the Associated Press, Joshua Barber and Nicholas Kaiser were in court today in Buffalo to face the federal wiretapping charges that stemmed from the duo's duping of Nix and Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik.

The two officially plead not guilty to the charges, though neither spoke out during the proceedings, and remained free without bail.

For those that missed it, the two set up a not-so-elaborate scheme where they called a front office pretending to be the other general manager. Once the two were actually on the line, they put the calls on speaker phone. They then recorded the conversation, which later surfaced on Deadspin.

The recording and subsequent sale is what has the two Massachusetts men in hot water. The charges could land the pair in jail for up to five years; Kaiser's lawyer did say Tuesday that he'd be willing to settle before the case went to trial. The men reportedly earned $200 from Deadspin for the info.

The leak served as evidence of Nix's frustration with then-quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, though the news didn't come as a shock. He opined that the signal-caller was earning too much for "probably a backup job," and that Fitz was going to have to shape up or ship out. The team cut the quarterback less than a week after the conversation surfaced.

No future court date has been reported for Barber and Kaiser.

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