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Woman outs undercover officer: found his profile on facebook

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  • Woman outs undercover officer: found his profile on facebook

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-charg...ef=abc-fb-recs

    A Texas woman is facing a felony retaliation charge after she allegedly posted a photograph of an undercover narcotics officer on Facebook and identified his job.

    Melissa Walthall, 30, told Mesquite police she saw the photograph on a flyer three weeks earlier and posted it because her friend was upset with the officer's testimony on drug charges, according to a federal affidavit.

    On Oct. 7, one of Walthall's friends told police a photograph of a man appeared in her newsfeed and was labeled "Undercover Mesquite Narcotics" with the caption "Anyone know this b****."

    Investigators checked Walthall's Facebook page and issued a warrant for her arrest on harassment charges after they deemed her post a "viable threat to that officer's safety," the affidavit stated.

    Mesquite Police DepartmentMelissa Walthall is charged with retaliation... View Full Size Mesquite Police DepartmentMelissa Walthall is charged with retaliation after she allegedly posted a photo of an undercover narcotics officer on Facebook.
    Walthall refused to identify her friend. However a computer search led police to George Pickens.

    Pickens, 34, told investigators he and his brother, Bobby Stedham, began researching the undercover officer online and found his Facebook page and photograph. They used the photo to make flyers featuring the officer with the intent to display them "like garage sale signs," according to the affidavit.

    "It's a very dangerous situation," said Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association.

    "If you're trying to infiltrate a cartel, a drug ring, a gang, one of the keys is people have to believe you're not an officer. Anything that hints at tying you to law enforcement is very dangerous," he said.

    Stedham, 26, has also been charged with retaliation. Pickens faces drugs and weapons charges after authorities found 28.6 grams of methamphetamine in his room and an unregistered, sawed-off shotgun.

    Lawrence said his group advises members of law enforcement to be very cautious about social media, if they must use it at all.There are too many opportunities for bad things to happen in exchange for very little up side," he said. "But the fact the officer shouldn't have had a Facebook doesn't excuse her [Walthall] either."


    This could have turned out really bad. Good thing criminals are idiots...

  • #2
    *cough cough*

    ...get rid of facebook!
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Empire02 View Post
      *cough cough*

      ...get rid of facebook!
      No kidding.....if you are in some wazoo secret squirrel outfit, you might want to reconsider putting your mug out there on the interwebs
      The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

      "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

      "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Empire02 View Post
        *cough cough*

        ...get rid of facebook!
        Yep, that should have been done a long time ago. Guess he's done with UC work.
        Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

        Comment


        • #5
          Get rid of facebook was my 1st reaction as well. I'm not some old anti-technology fogey who misses his rotary phone (although rotary phones were awesome), I like new tech (as evidenced by my presence on this here forum thingamabob).

          But just because something is trendy or whatnot does NOT mean everyone has to jump on it.

          I honestly get tired of people right in front of me asking me if i have a facebook page or some other stupid social media thing. if you want to talk to me about something, the fact that i'm standing right in front of you means that now is a good time....

          As a campus policeman (I'm sorry, policeperson)....damn feminists), i'm already way more visible everyday than I want to be, like hell I'm going to have some kind of webpage with my face on it so people can screw with me when I'm off.
          ~Gun control has always been about punishing the people that didn't shoot anyone.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not sure if you guys caught this, but it doesn't even say whether this officer has a Facebook profile of his own.

            This was a random civilian who posted the cop's picture on their own Facebook and identified him as a LEO.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
              I'm not sure if you guys caught this, but it doesn't even say whether this officer has a Facebook profile of his own.

              This was a random civilian who posted the cop's picture on their own Facebook and identified him as a LEO.
              The article says they found his facebook profile and got the pic.
              For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

              "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
                I'm not sure if you guys caught this, but it doesn't even say whether this officer has a Facebook profile of his own.

                This was a random civilian who posted the cop's picture on their own Facebook and identified him as a LEO.
                From above story:
                Pickens, 34, told investigators he and his brother, Bobby Stedham, began researching the undercover officer online and found his Facebook page and photograph.
                Sleeping Giant. They're not fat and happy anymore. They are hungry and increasingly angry. That is not a good recipe for a "Puppies and Rainbows America".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whoops, obviously I missed that paragraph. Never mind

                  Bet that guys Facebook page is gone already

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    WTF? How could anyone involved in UC work not know htat having a FB page with your pic on it was in any way a good thing? I try to adopt the posture of not playing MMQB, but this one just begs to be questioned. Not saying this chick was right or wrong, but this was gonna happen sooner or later.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "I know it might get me killed, but there's this chick I really want to message on Jane's friends list."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Conversely, if you are working UC, creating a false facebook profile might be a GREAT idea :-).

                        Bill
                        Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by willbird View Post
                          Conversely, if you are working UC, creating a false facebook profile might be a GREAT idea :-).

                          Bill

                          You mean to tell me that this isn't already being done?
                          Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            False FB pages are a direct violation of FB TOS and can get you ( and your organization) booted off

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by btfp View Post
                              False FB pages are a direct violation of FB TOS and can get you ( and your organization) booted off
                              Understood, however if you seriously believe that there aren't LE already using decoy FB pages, then I have a very nice piece of ocean front property in KS that I would like to offer you at an excellent price.
                              Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

                              Comment

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