SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Pierre-based reporter is facing charges for a January prank call.
KOTA and Dakota News Now reporter Austin Goss was arrested and charged with making threatening, harassing or misleading contacts. Goss appeared in court Thursday.
According to court documents, an individual identified as D.L. told authorities he received a call from a number that appeared to be Governor Kristi Noem’s personal cell phone. On January 23, 2023, Noem’s office revealed that the governor’s phone had been hacked and was being used to make prank calls.
The call is summarized in the probable cause document as follows:
“So now, you answer me this… Between the hours of midnight yesterday, and right now, where they disappear to?.. Did you check your basement? How many boxes of the Moderna where there?… Oh you think this is funny?… Yo! You’re making me say way too much on this line already… Marculo’s on the line here too. You best quit messing with me!… You know what? I’m going to tell you, I know what you said the other day…. You telling me, you didn’t tell Vito, that you were going to try to move the three boxes of that AstraZeneca outside this family?… You saying you ain’t said that?!… Oh, I’m getting so angry… You saying, you aint’ said that?!… You come here. Say it to my face…. Yeah, yeah I want you to say it to my face!… Hahahahahaha! You’ve just been pranked by PrankDial.com.”
Authorities traced the call through Midcontinent Communications to Goss’ Fort Pierre’s address. The investigation found that Goss had multiple personal and professional communications with the governor and that “it would stand to reason that Austin may have come in possession of Governor Noem’s personal phone number during one of these contacts.”
On Jan. 23, Noem said in a news release that her cell phone had been hacked and said she urged U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and multiple congressional committees to investigate leaks of information relating to her family. “I look forward to whatever resolution they can provide,” she said.
KELOLAND News has reached out to Dakota News Now for comment but has not yet received a response. As of 1:42 p.m. Goss’ image was no longer on Dakota News Now’s website.
KELOLAND has also reached out to Noem’s office in Pierre but has not yet received a response.
The story will be updated when any response is received.