Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Social Media FAIL! Crime Stopper's Tip Leads to Bank Robbery Couple's Arrest but Bank Robber's Facebook Posts Seal the Government's Case ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Meet 28 y/o John Mogan and 24 y/o Ashley Duboe.  That's them below, a couple from Ohio posing in a nice pic from Facebook...

And look, here they are again, this time in their respective mug shots...

John and Ashley are in jail facing bank robbery charges, stemming from the August 24th, 2015 robbery of "The Savings Bank" in Ashville, Ohio.

Per police John walked into the bank wearing a black hoodie and handed the teller a note, prompting the teller to pass over an undisclosed amount of cash (although it was believed to be in the thousands of dollars) after which John simply walked out of the bank.

John has distinctive facial tattoos (he has "Loyalty's Thin" inked on his right cheek and "Betrayl's Thick" inked on his left) which were effectively covered by the hoodie, indicating that he (or Ashley) gave some thought as to how not to get caught.

Unfortunately for the couple their prior planning had no bearing on their subsequent acts which led directly to their arrest, such as John posted the picture below on his Facebook account one week after the bank robbery (on August 31st, 2015).  It is reported that one of John's relatives commented on the pic that John "didn't hook a brother up", prompting John's reply that "That's called a McStack."

John posted at least two (2) other photos with the currency, including the first picture posted in this blogpost above - the one with he and Ashley in front of the women's bathroom holding cash - as well the one below where John reportedly commented that "I got six bands bra real shit nigga. Im doing rrree=aaaaalll) good"...

It wasn't until  information came through Central Ohio Crime Stoppers concerning the Facebook photos that authorities were pointed in John's direction.  A background search showed that John had just been released from prison in Ohio on July 19th, 2015 after robbing a bank in 2010 in Lancaster, a city about 20 miles east of Ashville, so it was all to easy for cops to locate John as he was on parole from his 2010 bank robbery.  John was arrested and has been charged with robbery and theft (no weapon was used) and he faces at least four (4) years in prison (note that I do not know what he faces on his parole violation).  Ashley was charged with the same offenses although police have not disclosed what part she allegedly played in the robbery.

Between the video surveillance, John's prior criminal record of committing the same offense, his douche baggerous bragging on Facebook and posting incriminating photos and someone ratting him out to Crime Stoppers, for the cops this was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Memo to the Folks:  Please note that I am not advocating bank robbery but I am compelled to point out that had it not been for the Facebook pics and attendant bragging on social media it's likely that John and Ashley would not be in jail and would be spending their loot.

Social Media provides the mechanics for rapid and global dissemination of information, forging bonds and deepening differences, and, like anything else, Social Media has it's positives and it's negatives.  It has brought folks together and it has been the imputes for folks to part ways.  It can help folks in a variety of ways but it can also hurt them, and this holds especially true as social media relates to criminal defense litigation. 

As a routine part of my practice I have now made it a condition of representation that, during the course of a case, my clients must refrain from non-business related Social Media posts and commentary.  I also caution them to be careful about cell phone use, especially text messaging. Why?  Because, Clouds, "i" or otherwise, cell towers, and GPS signals all leave traces which can be used for both identification and evidentiary purposes, as do Social media feeds (any information which is connected to you), and your phones, tablets, pads and computers all contain potentially incriminating evidence.  Some of this is there for the taking, free and easily accessible to the public (which includes law enforcement) and some of this is accessible by subpoena, most especially things that you think that you have deleted but which in fact still exist in cyber-land.

The facts are that law enforcement (cops and prosecutors) can, and will, get their grubby paws on your texts, Social Media communications (posts, comments and pictures alike) and can track your whereabouts, with or without a subpoena, and any private citizen who wishes can save, store and deliver anything that they wish to either the cops or the prosecution without any constitutional consequence whatsoever.  Further, once armed with YOUR Social Media materials, if they are relevant to your case then the same will likely be admissible as evidence against your interests.

Consider the DUI manslaughter case wherein the Defendant had posted pictures of her/himself earlier in the evening doing shooters at a bar.  Or the domestic violence case where the Defendant texted her/his friend stating how angry s/he he was at the alleged victim.  Or the thief who posts pictures of her/his booty?  If you follow my blog then you have seen examples such as these, and worse, and, sadly, they will continue, as most folks simply don't think about the potential consequences of their actions.

Here are a few recent examples which you can find on my blog:

1)    Bragging about Warrants:  A Texas man is arrested for bragging on Facebook about his sixteen (16) arrest warrants.  

2)    Child Porn:  A stolen cell phone is traced to it's prior owner after child porn images are found on the device.

3)    Theft:  iPad thieves post pictures which go to owner's iCloud and lead cops to them.

4)    Animal Cruelty:  Arkansas hunters kills cats and post videos which lead to arrest.

5)    Guns and Child Abuse:  Social Media posts foil illegal gun sale and leads to video of couple baiting a baby to put a pistol in her mouth. 

With that backdrop here are the 5 Rules:

Haber's Social Media Rule #1:  Think BEFORE you post.

Haber's Social Media Rule #2:   Once posted always posted.

Haber's Social Media Rule #3:   Don't post anything that you would not want your mother to read / see.

Haber's Social Media Rule #4:  Cops literally troll the internet looking for folks who go to, look in, download from or upload to targeted (and usually, but not always "deviant") sites.  They also conduct internet "stings", posing as children or deviants and looking to bag anyone foolish enough to take the bait.

Haber's Social Media Rule #5:  If it's even remotely relevant to a pending charge then prosecutors will cram your social media posts, and history (sites visited, searches made, etc) down your throat in court.

Watch Michael A. Haber, P.A.'s Webisode on Social Media and the Law by clicking on the YouTube link below....

Social Media:  It's all fun and nice until it's introduced into evidence against you in Court. See "Haber's Rules of Social Media # 1 - 5" at: http://habercriminallaw.blogspot.com/2015/02/social-media-and-criminal-justice.html

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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