Is law enforcement using Facebook to bust pot users?

September 17, 2014
summer johnson

Summer Johnson

By KAREN VELIE

Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are using Facebook to help them catch criminals, and on the Central Coast, officers may have taken it a step further.

Many departments are now training officers on how to navigate Facebook. In some cases, officers have arrested criminals who touted their illegal acts on social media sites.

In other situations, officers can learn more about suspects by watching their social media pages.

For example, Timothy Janowicz was a 29-year-old Atascadero man who died of an overdose while in custody in the San Luis Obispo County Jail in May. On his Facebook page, one friend posts copies of text messages from a criminal with a long rap sheet claiming he has paid someone to assault a young women he suspects of talking to law enforcement.

Mike to Devon on Janowicz’ Facebook page: “Next time i see you is on sight. I just gotta round trip ticket for 300 plus. Now i feel bad that i didnt smash you myself.. especially since you are such a piece of shit. Wait till you get a load of my crew… they been doin homework on you 500 cash. Sam put money on your head….borrowed it from me. And jeannie.. said she powders her nose harder than you hit.”

Included in the posts on Janowcz’ Facebook page are photos of alleged drugs.

facebook drugs

Photo on Tom Janowicz’ Facebook page.

In addition to keeping an eye on suspected criminals’ social networking activity, some officers have created fake online identities they use to befriend suspects and view private information they provide only to their Facebook friends.

Locally, several sources claim local law enforcement has set up several fake online identities to entice suspected pot users to meet at local clubs. These accounts usually include information on where the phony person works and went to school.

For example, “Summer Johnson” is a Facebook identity who claims to be a student at Cuesta College. The 23-year-old woman, who in her profile picture is biting her teeth into a giant bag of marijuana, says she lives in Avila Beach.

However, Cuesta College does not currently have a Summer Johnson enrolled, college administrators said.

CalCoastNews contacted multiple online friends of Johnson, however, none had actually met her. Of those communicated with, many had criminal records, others, including a well-known chef at a local restaurant, said they had been given medical marijuana recommendations from Dr. Atsuko Rees, before her files were seized by local law enforcement.

They all agreed to Johnson’s friend request as 1,452 others have, and who now are in line to receive posts by Johnson.

“SLO Brew tonight…………Anyone gonna be there?????,” Johnson says on her Facebook page.

Sources assert that an earlier invite to Motav, a San Luis Obispo nightclub, resulted in two arrests.

However, not all local attorneys can easily access the information, as several prominent local criminal attorneys have been blocked from being able to view Johnson’s Facebook page, a local attorney confirmed.

Tony Cipolla, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department public information officer, said that the department does not comment on investigative tactics it may or may not employ.


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35 Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Yes, all the Narcotic officers, detectives and more have fake FB accounts, Summer Johnson was one of the biggest fake ones, having over 1,442+ at last count.

    Summer Johnson was used by the Sheriffs NTF/GTF etc. at the approval of X Chief Gessell and Ian Parkinson your Sheriff. It was a ( Site Set Up) operation meaning many fake FB accounts are set up to entrap hundreds of law abiding citizens. They were suppose to register all their CI’s (They Did Not) the many Task Forces have all abused, misused and that gave way to agents lying to judges to obtain bogus search warrants.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. achillesheal says:

    If “summer Johnson” is a tool of law enforcement, and she requests to “friend” people, then invites them to a club to smoke her giant bag of weed, the police may get an arrest but they won’t get a convictiom.

    If the defendant had no disposition to commit the crime before the motive. Was planted in his head, it is entrapment.

    Of course, anyone using these ridiculous sights who is over the age of 21, probably deserves to be shaken up a little – might cure them before they reach the tipping point of full narcissism.

    (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
  3. standup says:

    Maybe we can buy some heroin from Cory Pierce? Oh that’s right he is in the Lompoc pen. Stupid pigs. Go bust the meth guys. Rot in hell Rodney John and the rest of the narc scum that run their own form of the law with zero respect for the rights of citizens and the LAW laid out by the attorney general. Losers.

    (3) 25 Total Votes - 14 up - 11 down
    • RUserious says:

      Seriously what land do you think you live in….. The attorney General does NOT and can NOT make laws.

      (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
      • Dirk Anderson says:

        At times I’m not so sure what kind of Country I’m in anymore? Why don’t you tell me?

        May I ask what kind of rock do you live under? Please don’t tell me you are another Cop with excessive time on his hands?

        I went into local grocery store a couple of months ago, was checking out and had one of these obvious tweakers much younger and bigger than me pick something on his body and than flick his blood on me…seriously. One example from amongst many of these “narc scum” undermining the Law and Social Order with increasing boldness.
        Apparently the Legal System is incapable of flushing these dirt-bags.

        It is becoming more and more obvious the the Laws that are intended to protect and allow one to defend oneself are not equally applied, and the Law itself is grounded in less and less reason. There is a certain segment of society that seems to feel they are entitled to special privileges and prerogatives that others are not. As far as I’m concerned, nothing “special” about anybody, when this kind of trash comes knocking on your door don’t come crying to me.

        (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
      • standup says:

        Please reread and check your comprehension.
        Never said he made the law, said he laid it out; after it was passed. Big difference.

        (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
        • RUserious says:

          again AG does not LAY OUT law. That is the job of legislatures and applet court judges (in the form of case law).

          And as for Dirk. Your right to much time on my hands and I like to frustrate myself apparently reading a ton of uneducated comments. If I was a cop I would probably try defending the practice or as many on this site would think I would be trying to COVER Something up.

          All I am doing is pointing out someone’s undulation and personally it is frustrating when people discuss topics and say things when they have zero facts. All it does is fuel unnecessary fires when people say stupid things that are not true.

          Fact is the Attorney General does not make law. He has no real authority to say how the law is enforced. He can give suggestions because ultimately AG’s and DA are responsible for prosecution and if the DA does not believe in the case then they will not file but…… just because a DA does not file a case does not mean a law has not been broken. It merely means there is not enough evidence to prosecute beyond a reasonable doubt.

          In closing if you are going to comment then check your facts and don’t just spew rubbish

          (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
          • standup says:

            Are you as stupid as your post? Read SB 420 which is a LAW that was passed by our state senate. FACT

            and

            “authorize[s] the Attorney General to recommend modifications to the possession or cultivation limits set forth in the bill” and “require[s] the Attorney General to develop and adopt guidelines to ensure the security and nondiversion of marijuana grown for medical use”

            FACT

            The attorney general is responsible to see that the laws of CA are carried out.

            FACT

            You speak like a friend of Cory Pierce.

            (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
            • RUserious says:

              wow, so much for following the advice about not spewing rubbish. I will give up.

              Luckily stupidity is not a crime so no need to worry about the AG prosecuting you.

              FYI here is an article that pretty much shows SB 420 is unconstitutional because the senate can not change a law that was voter approved. But i am sure you have some snappy comeback for this too. So i concede

              http://www.canorml.org/news/kellyruling.html

              (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
              • standup says:

                Yeah right. Unconstitutional my rear end. Then, how come it has been used a thousand times in court cases to successfully free a defendant? None the less some of us choose to use medical marijuana over martinis and it is good that we have a choice. In reality, the government needs to let the people decide this. They have a poor track record at deciding things for us.

                (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  4. shelworth says:

    If you are stupid enough to post pics and vids of yourself committing crimes, you deserve to be caught. You give real criminals a bad name.

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      Should be a special Face Book category of the Darwin Award for crooks.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  5. Rambunctious says:

    My mother use to say if you don’t want to be noticed then don’t put on a funny hat and dance on the freeway.

    (22) 22 Total Votes - 22 up - 0 down
  6. Pelican1 says:

    Hello! Everyone is using Facebook and other social media in an attempt to gather unyielding amounts of data about those who are foolish enough to post on the internet.
    Potential employers, creditors, insurers, virtually ANYONE who may have an interest in your personal existence.
    My advise…don’t post it if you are not willing to deal with the consequences, unintended or not.

    (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
    • whatdouno says:

      Exactly, I’ve heard reports that Zuckerberg actually started facebook at the request of the CIA for gathering data on people. Amazes me that everything needs a facebook account now, a phone number and/or your email address. Don’t understand why people don’t get they link it all together and compile all this freely given information in a composite on those dumb enough to do it. Wake up people.

      (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
      • Jorge Estrada says:

        Just remember that the social newtork (everything) allows you to build your AVITAR.

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
      • whatdouno says:

        Here’s the link, check it out for yourself. All you thumb downers, think twice before you sneer.
        http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/cia-nsa-facebook-create-threat-matrix-score-every-american/

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
        • Dirk Anderson says:

          Thank you for the link.

          I posted a link (dead) back in the older comments, hopefully people can gain a sense for how this Data potentially can and will be used to map Everybodies
          contacts, movements, associations etc. try: http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/

          Unfortunately since Snowden’s NSA revelations I have noticed an increase in
          the use of tech toys etc. They were lined up around the block to get Apples
          latest release this past week. This snooping, snitch mentality permeates
          the Culture to one degree or another. Many Americans are employed in these
          fields, wether it is: Government, advertising, marketing, data storage and
          analysis or whatever. It is what it is. That’s the world we are living in as
          disgusting as it is.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
          • Dirk Anderson says:

            Apoligies for any formatting errors etc. that may be showing up.
            I’m usung Public Computer Station Cal Poly Library. This WIFI set up
            complete with WIFI Antennna 20 inches away from my face inexcusably sucks and is very slow. as if the hard wired networks were not bad enough.
            I’m a State School Graduate myself. Although obsolete I have a
            technical repair background.
            Is this school that broke that it can’t competently upgrade this trash or
            what. It’s embarassing. I expect nothing but the cutting edge best and
            you get this from this school ? Spend a few bucks damn! The salaries
            and pensions are not big enouigh? Nothing like moving back in the
            direction of the stone age. This is not worth the elevated blood pressure.

            (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.