YouTube stars The Stokes Twins avoid jail after pleading guilty to fake bank robbery jokes

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Alan and Alex Stokes, twin brothers who shot to fame on YouTube filming prank videos, pleaded guilty to violating false incarceration and reporting false emergencies in connection with a pair of now-deleted videos filmed in the fall of 2019 in which they acted like they did. just robbed a bank. The 23-year-old brothers were charged last August.

They were given a maximum of five years in prison if convicted on all counts, which led to the guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence, according to one. press release released on March 31 by the attorney’s office of Orange County, California.

“The guilty pleas were in exchange for a judge who reduced the charge of false imprisonment to a felony. Prosecutors on the day of the trial objected to the court’s offer to reduce the charge to a felony, ”the press release said.

Both received a sentence of 160 hours of community service and one year of probation, in addition to paying restitution. The Stokes brothers are also banned from returning to the University of California Irvine, where they filmed the prank videos, and they were also ordered to stop making videos “that mimic criminal behavior.”

The videos in question involved the Stokes brothers dressing in black clothes with face masks filming themselves interacting with strangers, some of whom were distraught at the prospect of encountering what they believed were on-the-run criminals.

In a poorly thought out situation filmed for the videos, the brothers called an Uber driver and demanded that they be taken somewhere. The driver refused, but he was later questioned by law enforcement officers who initially approached the man with guns drawn, mistakenly believing he was involved after numerous bystanders called the police on the brothers thinking they were trying to carjack the driver .

The brothers pulled this prank twice on the same day on October 15, 2019, and chose to film the second of the two videos at the University of California Irvine after being questioned and released by police elsewhere in Orange earlier in the day. County.

“These crimes could easily have resulted in someone being seriously injured or killed,” Orange County district attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “An active bank robbery is not a casual response from the police and these police officers literally put their lives on the line to help people they thought were in danger. It is irresponsible and reckless that these two individuals cared more about increasing their following on the Internet than about the safety of those police officers or the safety of the innocent Uber driver ordered from his car at gunpoint. “

The Stokes Twins YouTube channel remains active with more than 6.6 million subscribers. The most recent video, entitled “FUNNY April Fool’s Pranks on Friends!”, Was posted two days ago and has already been viewed 1.4 million times.