The Facebook post that led directly to jail – for more than 15 years

selfie

A felon from the US state of Tennessee can henceforth be considered Crown Prince of Incriminating Selfies.

Malik First Born Allah Farrad, also known as Marvin Maurice Buckles, is a 41-year-old man from Johnson City, Tennessee.

In 2013, having racked up what the US Attorney’s office said were “numerous” felony convictions for drug, gun, and violent offenses, Farrad posted a series of photos taken in his bathroom as he held, posed with, and displayed firearms, including a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

One photo in the series showed three handguns placed on top of the toilet seat in Farrad’s bathroom.

In another, apparently taken in a mirror, Farrad is seen aiming the reflection of the gun’s laser sight so that it reflected back onto his own forehead.

As a felon, it was illegal for him to possess guns.

On Thursday, Farrad was sentenced to 15.6 years – that’s 188 months – in federal prison for the crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

There’s no parole in the federal system, the US Attorney’s office pointed out. That means that the consequences of Farrad’s selfie, which was posted to Facebook, will be felt in full force.

Unfortunately for Farrad, he falls into the category of crooks who seem to believe that cops, the FBI or other law enforcement agents never use social media.

We’ve seen plenty of others like him, though not many whose decisions to publicly post incriminating evidence have led to a sentence as stiff as Farrad’s.

Just last week, a guy who just couldn’t stand the mug shot of himself that police had posted on Facebook posted a more flattering photo – one that led to him getting nabbed.

We’ve seen another fugitive tracked down after he posted selfies of his tanned mug and his beachside hideaway in Mexico.

Nice tan. Terrible choice of social media posts!

Then there was that robber who, though he took the time to wear a mask to cover his face, then posted a thinly veiled confession online. Replete with “ashamed” emoticon, of course!

Maybe Farrad would have lucked out. Maybe, just maybe, he could have been a criminal who posts willy-nilly without any cops having been the wiser.

But as chance had it, officers in his home town suspected Farrad was up to no good in the fall of 2013.

So they checked out his social media posts – specifically, Facebook.

In October 2013, they saw that Farrad had uploaded the toilet seat/gun still life.

They worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and subsequently got a search warrant for the entirety of Farrad’s Facebook account.

That’s when they discovered the selfies of Farrad showing off his guns.

A two-day trial featuring “exhaustive testimony” describing the distinguishing characteristics of the firearm seen in the seized Facebook photos dispelled any notion that it could have been a toy, fake, replica, or imitation.

Nope, that gun was as real as an 188-month prison term without parole.

We’re always grateful when crooks help out overworked cops by incriminating themselves.

For the non-criminal among us, we should of course remember to lock down the privacy on our posts, lest our posts wind up being a lot less private than we thought they were when we posted them!

No excuse for not doing it – particularly not now, with a little blue dinosaur to help us on Facebook, plus a Facebook privacy policy translated into nice, plain English!

Even if you think all your Facebook posts are locked down, it’s worth reviewing your settings to make sure posts aren’t searchable, particularly given that Facebook recently announced that it was allowing users to search anyone’s public posts – all 2 TRILLION of them.

Don’t be like Farrad, assuming that nobody notices your posts.

Unless you’re a crook, that is.

In which case, please do self-incriminate away!

Image courtesy of Facebook.com