Instagram post lands 17-year-old with criminal charges for drug possession
POSTED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 5:04pm
PATTERSON, LA (NBC33) — A post on Instagram prompted a narcotics investigation that resulted in criminal charges for a 17-year-old girl from Patterson, La.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that Mikayla Rock was issued a summons on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at roughly 5:00 p.m. It happened because she was found to be in possession of marijuana.
Officials say narcotics investigators had probable cause to search Rock’s residence after she posted an image to Instagram that showed her with the suspected marijuana.
“I think the important thing to remember is that you and your friends are not the only ones monitoring your [social media] account,” David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, said in a recent interview with NBC33 News. “Law enforcement, college recruiters, and potential employers; once it’s posted and it’s out there, it’s there forever.”
Melancon noted that criminal investigators are routinely monitoring social media sites for incriminating evidence in cases, and you might not be their intended target.
“We had a guy in our area who video taped fights,” Melancon explained. “He had aspirations to do something in production, so he would follow people around and video tape these fights. We caught wind of this, so we monitored his Facebook and YouTube posts because he would provide the evidence we needed to correlate with complaints. He made our job very easy because the evidence was there on tape. It’s hard to deny your involvement in a crime when you’re face is shown committing the crime.”
Click here to learn more about how law enforcement uses social media to build criminal cases.