MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A New Mexico man accused of paying hackers to sabotage websites affiliated with his former employers and state agencies has been sentenced in Minnesota to 15 years in prison.

John Kelsey Gammell earlier pleaded guilty to federal hacking conspiracy charges. The FBI says the case represents a growing form of cybercrime in which professional hackers are paid to inflict damage on individuals, businesses and others who rely on digital devices.

Gammell admitted in federal court in St. Paul to engaging in a campaign of cyberattacks against at least three dozen websites between 2015 and 2017, including those of former employers, banks, Hennepin County in Minnesota and the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

Gammell's sentence Thursday also included charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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