Two southern California men have been arrested separately for making thousands of hoax 911 calls to local dispatchers over the past year using uninitialized cellular phones. Maurice Cruz, 43, was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers and Secret Service agents at his home for misusing a 911 line. The CHP said Cruz had made 18,000 calls to 911 over the past six months, but the agency did not describe the nature of the calls. In an unrelated arrest, Orange County sheriff’s deputies arrested Israel Vasquez, 34, at his home in Stanton. They allege he made over 2,000 calls to 911 over the past year. If a male dispatcher answered, Vasquez would hang up. However, if a female answered, sheriff’s officials say he would launch into an obscene conversation. The record for hoax calls is still held by a Hayward (N. Calif.) man who made 27,000 calls starting in May 2007. John Treplette, 50, told police he called the number, “because it’s free.” Update: Vasquez later pleaded guilty to five counts of annoying or harassing 911 operators, and was sentenced to 21 days in jail and three years probation. He is in the country illegally and is eligible for deportation after his jail sentence.E-mail this story
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