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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FineWine

Ironic isn’t it. The only people who can legally lie, con, steal, and stalk are the government and law enforcement. Free Country????


Dirk Anderson

You lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.


This does appear to be crap Law Enforcement work. The use of entrapping “honey pots” etc corrupts Law Enforcement more than anything else. The line between the good guys and the bad gets very blurry. Than the Police will turn around and get their information from the degenerates they entrap and deal with, one snitch after another, and so it goes.


I don’t particularly care to interact with the Law Enforcement/Lawyer Degenerates or the Dopy druggie criminal Degenerates, not much difference, both are diseased.


I would prefer old fashion fundamental community policing, unfortunately those days are gone. Appears to be a lack of integrity in the Legal System to say the least, corresponds perfectly with the rest of the culture.


larryN

The police need to come clean on this one, the phony use of FaceBook and lying who you are to set people up is a crime, now we can not trust the police.


This fake FB Summer Johnson is affilated with dirty police, Dustin A., Vic N. AJ S. all three corrupt police and more to be named. Stealing and reselling dope is wrong and illegal, stealling cash from suspects is wrong snooping on lawyers is wrong Ortiz and Adam Romo, Bilu and Smokie, Brian Buckley and Cindy Campos and so much more corrupt police


ml1999

I hope the police are also aware of Twitter, the under 30 crowd feels that Facebook is dead. They use twitter, instagram, and snapchat.


larryN

This is more proof of police misconduct, and illgal stuff with the secret uncover site, two of my x boyfrineds were arrested via this fake summer johnson they got set up one in paso the other slo by this fake police cite, it was the polixce selling dope.


Vic Nunez, AJ Santan and Dustin Alexander selling dope then tryuing eo make snittche out of us if we owul seell out who we jam with at alomt ever vbar. Summer Johnson does not esist fake police. they “Summer Johnson” has set up more people and students then i cna even think of, here are some Adam Romo his lawyar Ginger Ortiz, Cindy Q. Campos and her public defnder Brian Buckley they have beenig backdorring on April, Hughes, sneaking on FB to lawyrs like mesridk, coates, bilu, ortiz, blecher, buckley, and so many more


waskt hte F!!! UP our police are corrupty like corry pierce and som many others, check out who is on her fake FB page they will connect you to public fighres who are in bed with dopers and bankers, so who is calling the kettle balck. It is the many fake police FB sites, go check hers out or should i say AJ Santanas, Nunez, or Dustin alexanders and more they are all badf apples selling dope, stealkiiing cash taken from people and not repoorting it to the top dogs problay cauds e they are in on it, they hav eeven aksed three of my firned sot be phoney informatnst for them and the crimianl cawes will disappera that is bad corooked police go job Cal coast


topper01

Such an eloquent rant. I am guessing, public schooling?


cowtipper

Maybe it was meant to be phonetically correct!


Dirk Anderson

I’m just a biscuit under 60. Back when I was in Junior High School yes I did smoke and inhale Reefer. These days I can’t stand being around any of this childish trash, seems like it’s practically everywhere.


Definite Surveillance Society, it is what it is, a whole industry surrounds it. Surveillance is the business model of the Internet.


I’m more concerned about fully automated Meta Data Analysis, than I am somebody physically trolling around Face Book. *http://kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2013/06/09/using-metadata-to-find-paul-revere/ . Just a taste of what is in store for the future. Many Transactional Analysis Programs are free downloads, anybody can participate.


Given the Non Disclosure Agreements, compartmentalization (need to know), etc. God only knows what could (will) be coming down the pike. *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.


In the interests of convenience Americans will accept this kind of intrusion. I don’t recognize the Culture anymore.


Dexter

If law enforcement posted the pic of the pretty girl holding the pot then it seems like a bit of an entrapment issue if they also sent out invites to be a facebook friend.


There is no problem going after dealers of hard drugs like meth but if the target is college aged people who smoke pot then that seems rather ridiculous.


Also, if they used Dr Rees’ patient records to solicit facebook “friends” wouldn’t that be unethical and a violation of HIPA laws?


oneofadozen

Does Cory Pierce have a Facebook page? These local doughnut gourmets need to get off of the computer and get their candy asses up to the north end of Paso and fight some real drug crime. But that might be dangerous and they may get their uniforms dirty.


topper01

@Dexter Just so I get this straight. You are not objecting to the police using a technique to catch meth dealers, but are objecting o them using the same to arrest marijuana abusers? Just asking. Because if that is your argument, then it sounds like you are taking a page from Soetoro’s play book. Only enforce the laws that I want you to. NOT all laws.


Dexter

No..no.. no…. entrapment is inexusable in any form. In my thinking, focusing on hard drug dealers is no problem provided law enforcement follows the rules governed by the United States Constitution. …


….and yes in my mind some laws are questionable and I point to the marijuana laws as an example…. I dont buy into the reefer madness crap that was the rally cry of the 40s and 50s.


… and yes, the cops do have the discretion to to enforce certain laws and they do so on a daily basis … the good cops use their discretion properly and justly and the bad ones … well … that’s another story.


aft50s

If these morons are dumb enough to use social media sites to brag, threaten, sell, or otherwise tip law enforcement to what they are doing and when/where, then they deserve to get popped.


OnTheOtherHand

They deserve to get popped if they do things that harm others (or threaten to do so.) Their stupidity in posting on Facebook or other social media is irrelevant.


My only objection to the cops using social media posts made openly to aid in investigations is that some of the laws they enforce are either unjust or carry overly harsh penalties. The solution to that is to eliminate or modify poor laws but that seems to be very difficult to get done.


info

I hope they use all means necessary to limit distribution of these chemicals that cause family heartache. Mary Jane I hope they use discretion.


MaryMalone

OF COURSE, they are using Facebook and any other social-networking websites to aid in “fighting crime” or whatever.


What a great gig…getting paid to screw around on the computer all day.