Obstruction charges through Facebook posts

June 23, 2011
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Facebook users let people know what they are eating for dinner, that they don’t feel well, and their plans for Saturday night – why not let the world know when you are involved in a police standoff and possible hostage situation?

A man involved in a standoff with police kept up with his Facebook page throughout the 16-hour ordeal. The Utah man updated his status, responded to comments, and even posted a photo of the alleged hostage in the room with him. He did all this while police were trying to get him out of the hotel room after attempting to serve a felony warrant for failure to appear on drug-related charges.

Some of his Facebook friends even wrote about police movements outside the hotel. Those friends may now face obstruction charges. Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle said police were monitoring his online accounts and those friends could be charged.

She also said it’s becoming more common for criminals to use social media even in the midst of dangerous situations. What is going through a criminal’s mind that while he’s involved in a car chase, burglary, standoff, etc., he thinks it’s the best time to whip out his smart phone and let the world know what’s going on? Couldn’t those comments be used against him in court?

This is the first I’ve read of a person involved in a criminal activity using social media simultaneously. Have you heard of any other examples?

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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