A Baltimore school athletic director faces multiple criminal charges after police allege he framed his school principal using artificial intelligence to create a racist conversation that never happened.

Baltimore County Police on Thursday arrested Pikesville High School’s former athletic director Dazhon Darien, 31, for using AI to impersonate Principal Eric Eiswert making racist and anti-Semitic comments.

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Darien faces charges of disrupting school activities, retaliation, stalking and theft as a result of the investigation into the recording about Black students and teachers, and Jewish parents, that was shared widely on social media, WBAL reports.

Darien was arrested at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport en route to Houston after Maryland Transportation Authority police questioned him about his declared firearm and realized he was wanted on a warrant issued the same night, according to the news site.

“The audio clip … had profound repercussions,” police wrote in charging documents cited by The Baltimore Banner. “It not only led to Eiswert’s temporary removal from the school but also triggered a wave of hate-filled messages on social media and numerous calls to the school. The recording also caused significant disruptions for the PHS staff and students.”

The faked racist rant involved a voice that sounded like Eiswert complaining he has to “put up” with “ungrateful Black kids who can’t test their way out of a paper bag” as well as Black teachers who “should have never been hired.” The voice, made to sound as if it was speaking to a woman named Kathy that many interpreted to be Vice Principal Kathy Albert, also said he was “sick of the inadequacies of these people” and if he “has to get one more complaint from one more Jew in this community, I’m going to join the other side,” The Baltimore Sun reports.

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The recording was emailed to Darien and two physical education teachers at the school around 10 p.m. on Jan. 16. One of the teachers, Shaena Ravenell, mentioned in the recording as staff member who shouldn’t have been hired, forwarded the email to a student, the media and the NAACP.

Ravenell told police she forwarded the recording to the student “who she knew would rapidly spread the message around various social media outlets and throughout the school,” according to the Banner.

Ravenell, who was not renewing her contract at PHS, has not been charged with a crime, but she did submit her resignation alongside Darien, an April 16 school board document shows.

Both Billy Burke, head of the administrative union, and Eiswert suggested to police the audio was AI-generated, with Eiswert pointing to Darien. Investigators subpoenaed documents from Google, AT&T and T-Mobile that led them to an internet provider address registered to Darien’s grandmother, and discovered the recovery cell phone number associated with the Google account was registered to Darien, according to police.

A district information technology employee discovered Darien used the Baltimore County Public Schools network to access language tools, OpenAI, and a Microsoft Bing Chat service on three occasions between December and January 15, the Sun reports.

Police also learned Eiswert initiated a theft investigation of Darien in 2023 for allegedly paying a roommate $1,910 to serve as an assistant girl’s soccer coach, a role the roommate never held.

Multiple AI experts contacted by The Banner and police concluded the audio recording was fake, based on the voice’s flat tone, relatively clean background noise, and a lack of breathing or pauses that are common with AI. University of Colorado Denver forensic analyst Catalin Grigoras found the “recording contained traces of AI-generated content with human editing after the fact, which added background noises for realism,” according to charging documents cited by The Banner.

University of California Berkley’s Henry Farid also found “the recording was manipulated, and multiple recordings were spliced together,” the documents read.

Baltimore County officials and BCSD Superintendent Myriam Rogers scheduled a press conference on Darien’s arrest for Thursday.

Rogers in January said the “highly offensive and inappropriate statements about African American students, Pikesville High School staff, and Pikesville’s Jewish community” were “disturbing.”