YouTubers/TikTokers Alan and Alex Stokes, best known as the Stokes Twins, are facing four years in state prison after they were hit with multiple felony charges over a prank.
According to TMZ, the two viral stars, who used to be popular on Vine and maintain a 4.8 million subscriber count on YouTube, were hit with the charges on Wednesday for their involvement in a pair of fake bank robberies last October. As the Orange County District Attorney's Office confirmed in a press release, the brothers were each charged with one felony count of fake imprisonment affected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit, and one demeanor count of falsely reporting an emergency. The second charge is often called "swatting," which refers to police receiving a false report regarding a crime to get authorities to show up at someone else's location.
According to the Orange County District Attorney, the twins pretended to rob a bank by dressing in all black and wearing ski masks. Their videographer filmed the attempted prank video from afar, showing them with duffle bags filled with fake cash. They were shown calling for an Uber, as seen in a video shared by TMZ, but when the driver turned up they refused to pick them up. A witness explained that they believed the brothers were looking to carjack the Uber driver.
While they were given a warning from a police officer for the ill-advised prank, the District Attorney has said that they attempted the prank a second time just four hours later at the University of California. Police received calls regarding the first attempt, and they later received more calls when the second attempt went down. "These were not pranks," said District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed."
The news comes just a day after YouTuber Jake Paul, not to be confused with brother Logan Paul, had his Calabasas home searched by the FBI. It was reported that "several apparent firearms found throughout the property were seized."