A New Low for Law Enforcement

I swear to goodness, the feds work like the Sons of Anarchy MC, only more duplicitous and without a code of honor:

The Justice Department is claiming, in a little-noticed court filing, that a federal agent had the right to impersonate a young woman online by creating a Facebook page in her name without her knowledge. Government lawyers also are defending the agent’s right to scour the woman’s seized cell phone and to post photographs — including racy pictures of her and even one of her young son and niece — to the phony social media account, which the agent was using to communicate with suspected criminals.

The woman, Sondra Arquiett, who then went by the name Sondra Prince, first learned her identity had been commandeered in 2010 when a friend asked about the pictures she was posting on her Facebook page. There she was, for anyone with an account to see — posing on the hood of a BMW, legs spread, or, in another, wearing only skimpy attire. She was surprised; she hadn’t even set up a Facebook page.

The account was actually set up by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Timothy Sinnigen.

Not long before, law enforcement officers had arrested Arquiett, alleging she was part of a drug ring. A judge, weighing evidence that the single mom was a bit player who accepted responsibility, ultimately sentenced Arquiett to probation. But while she was awaiting trial, Sinnigen created the fake Facebook page using Arquiett’s real name, posted photos from her seized cell phone, and communicated with at least one wanted fugitive — all without her knowledge.

More of Scalia’s new professionalism. Is it wrong that the only chance there is for the special agent paying a price for this is at the hands of Anonymous?






33 replies
  1. 1
    Ruckus says:

    More of Scalia’s new professionalism. Is it wrong that the only chance there is for the special agent paying a price for this is at the hands of Anonymous?

    No.
    What other source is there? The courts rarely have been on the side of privacy, especially when law enforcement has been involved, so what’s left?
    Voting? That might, I say might, help but in how many decades? And that depends on finding and getting people who almost never seem to run for office (maybe they have more self respect?) getting elected. You know, actual liberals.

  2. 2
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    Well to be pedantic, yes it is technically wrong, but the fix is still the same.

  3. 3
    Steeplejack says:

    W. T. F.?!

    What if someone gets killed because of fake government-generated bullshit on an account set up in their name? (Rhetorical question. Answer: nothing.)

  4. 4
    Mike in NC says:

    Getting hired as a cop is one of the lowest bars imaginable. The most inept fellow officer on my Navy ship — useless alcoholic that he was — got handed a gun and a badge at some podunk town in southern Virginia after he left active duty. After several months he drifted off to do something else, as do so many of these clowns.

  5. 5
    billb says:

    Our law enforcement and the courts will not well know their french history [see J Oliver’s take-down of forfeiture crimes by cops]. The scum who abuse the power of civilization we give them, will have a fair chance of the block and the blade at the hands of the people.

  6. 6
    Lori says:

    It’s a sex crime that the cops committed.

  7. 7
    scav says:

    The likely damage to her future employment chances by posting such things would be interesting to watch work out legally, but dragging in children was a real sign of brilliance in callous indifference and blindness on multiple fronts.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    Posting pictures of the woman is bad enough but posting pictures of the children without their parents’ permission is awful. Well, the whole thing but the kids’ pictures particularly.

  9. 9
    srv says:

    Simple, 4chan should all be Timothy Sinnigen now.

  10. 10
    Citizen_X says:

    @Mike in NC:

    The most inept fellow officer on my Navy ship — useless alcoholic that he was — got handed a gun and a badge at some podunk town in southern Virginia after he left active duty. After several months he drifted off to do something else

    So…Republican US Congressman, now?

  11. 11
    mclaren says:

    Yeah, I was literally just about to post a link to that one in the comments right now. Real Josef K. stuff.

    You have to wonder how long it’ll be before the Savonarola Supremes rule it’s legal for a high priest to cut off a citizen’s skin and perform a sacred dance while wearing it.

    (*cough* Aztec ixiptla *cough*)

    Oh, and by the way — did you know that muggers with badges are now forcing women to act as drug informants because of traffic violations?

    See Woman forced to be drug informant by cops over traffic violations, story recalls Rachel Hoffman murder.

    Our police ought to just wear a feathered headdress and brandish an obsidian knife.

  12. 12
    ShadeTail says:

    Isn’t impersonating someone like this a felony? A *federal* felony, no less, since it was done online?

  13. 13
    mclaren says:

    @ShadeTail:

    Silly lad. We live in post-legal America, where there is no law for anyone in power. As Richard Nixon so memorably put it: “If the president does it, that means it’s legal.”

    Ditto law enforcement personnel, DHS goons, TSA thugs, White house toadies like Eric Holder, congresscritters of either party, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    My guess is that she had a plea agreement that required her to assist law enforcement and Sinnigen went nuts with it.

  15. 15
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    That is some bullshit.

  16. 16
    mclaren says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    More bullshit than Attorney General Eric Holder proclaiming in a public speech that firing a Hellfire missile at a U.S. citizen to murder him is legal because “the fifth amendment only requires due process, not due legal process”?

    More bullshit than Barack Obama signing the NDAA that supposedly makes it legal for the president to kidnap any U.S. citizen and toss hi/r into a dungeon forever without access to a lawyer, without trial, and without charges?

  17. 17
    balconesfault says:

    The war on drugs has a way of corrupting everyone involved with it in any way, shape, or form.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: You are asking “supposedly” to carry an awful lot of weight. And a link to your Holder quote would not come amiss.

  19. 19
    Arclite says:

    Hey, Civil Asset Forfeiture baby. Her property was in jail, so the feds could do what they want with it.

  20. 20
    mtmofo says:

    I saw somewhere today that the FB has been taken down. Doesn’t forgive the gubmint at all tho.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    ulee says:

    Janis Joplin to kill the bad.

  23. 23
    ulee says:

    never never never never never never…..

  24. 24
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Hey, they probably first gave her a chance to accept Jeebus as her personal savior and she said no, so whaddya gonna do?

    An Indiana state trooper asked a motorist if she accepted Jesus as her savior when he pulled her over for a traffic violation, according to a lawsuit filed by the woman

  25. 25
    Peter says:

    @mclaren: Mclaren, the medication is in the pink bottle in the cabinet. Go take some please.

  26. 26
    qwerty42 says:

    @balconesfault:

    The war on drugs has a way of corrupting everyone involved with it in any way, shape, or form.

    The “War on Drugs” (and “The War on Terror”) have been menaces to society since they began. The “Drug War” has become very embedded in our legal system — the “civil forfeiture” stuff was thought to be a way to get to big time organized crime (I think the public face was something like The Godfather or The Untouchables). But there aren’t enough Al Capones and besides they have good lawyers, so go for petty criminals and law-abiding citizens. And then become baffled when the citizenry distrusts you.

  27. 27
    Egypt Steve says:

    If you haf nossink to hide, you haf nossink to fear, mein Herr.

  28. 28
    C.V. Danes says:

    Someone explain to me how this is not identity theft?

  29. 29
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Your guess is correct.

  30. 30
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Arclite: One more reason for encrypting Android/iOS devices NOW.

  31. 31
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    One more reason for encrypting Android/iOS devices NOW.

    @boatboy_srq: Useless. Not that the tech doesn’t work, but the courts can simply make you decrypt your device, and throw you in jail for contempt for not complying. Of course, the 5th Amendment has been ruled not to apply.

  32. 32
    kindness says:

    Rules and unwritten rules. The DEA in this case broke not only the rules but the unwritten rules. And we wonder why the Wall Street titans ended up serving no jail time after the 2008 economic collapse. Apparently one of the ‘rules’ the rest of us aren’t supposed to know is that for some people, there are no rules.

    Animal Farm is alive and well in modern America.

  33. 33
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mike in NC:

    After several months he drifted off to do something else, as do so many of these clowns.

    Cooking meth pays so much better.

Comments are closed.