If you didn’t know by now, the feds are watching social media. No matter how many people get caught up using Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, folks still decide to put their illegal activities online. Even Spotify and Netflix use have gotten people caught up in the past. Furthermore, the social networks are required to cooperate with the feds if they come asking for access to your account. Yesterday in Knoxville, longtime criminal Malik First Born Allah Farrad felt the brunt of the justice system due to some pictures he posted on Facebook.
Farrad, 42, (born Marvin Maurice Buckles) began his criminal career at the age of 14, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. In 2000, he caught federal charges for crack and weapons possession. It is illegal for felons to be in possession of guns, but that fact didn’t seem to stop Farrad from picking up straps. He got caught up in a federal operation called Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), “a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws.” The FBI gives the full spiel:
In the fall of 2013, officers with the Johnson City Police Department began an investigation into suspected illicit conduct by Farrad. In so doing, law enforcement examined his use of social media, specifically, Facebook. Investigators found that in October 2013, Farrad uploaded a photograph of three handguns placed atop the toilet seat in his bathroom. Having previously sustained numerous felony convictions for drug, gun, and violent offense, it was illegal for him to be in possession of such weapons.
Subsequently, investigators, working in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), obtained a search warrant for the entirety of Farrad’s Facebook account. Once executed, law enforcement discovered a variety of photographs showing him holding, posing with, and displaying a Springfield, Model XD, .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol. The pictures were taken from inside Farrad’s bathroom, and were uploaded in quick succession in October 2013.
Farrad faced a minimum of ten years in prison for the infraction, but enhancements can be imposed resulting in an additional five years. That’s just what Farrad got. The judge sentenced him to 188 months (15 years and change) for the photos.