A majority of Californians use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Many people use these sites to stay connected with their family and friends, but some people use these sites to brag about their recent activities. While there is nothing wrong with using social media, you could face serious criminal charges if you post about illegal activities online.
Several gang members in California are facing federal charges for armed robbery after they posted photos with stolen items and cash. Seven individuals involved with a street gang in the San Francisco area have been charged with federal crimes. They are accused of several armed robberies involving retail stores and residential homes.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the IRS Criminal Investigation unit and several law enforcement agencies in California investigated the armed robberies. Law enforcement authorities said the robberies started in 2012.
The evidence of the armed robberies included photos posted on online social media sites that show several of the defendants with cash and other stolen items. Prosecutors will likely use this evidence against the defendants as proof of their involvement with the string of armed robberies.
This case shows the serious criminal charges individuals in California can face for armed robbery or other federal crimes. Many of these cases rely on evidence and testimony from witnesses so posting photos or other evidence on social media sites can significantly impact a defendant's case and could result in a conviction.
Individuals facing criminal charges should understand the punishments they may face if they are convicted as well as the evidence that could be used against them. Individuals suspected or arrested for a crime that have posted any incriminating evidence online should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect their rights and understand the charges they may face.
Source: Enquirer Herald, "7 indicted for crime spree, bragging on Facebook," March 21, 2014