A Tennessee criminal recently found out the hard way that over sharing on Facebook can carry a steep price. 41-year-old Malik First Born Allah Farrad, formerly Marvin Buckles, was sentenced last week to a 188-month federal prison sentence because of a single selfie.
The ex-con was convicted of drug and gun charges in 2000, and found himself in trouble with the law repeatedly after his release. In 2013, he posted a selfie on Facebook that showed him holding a .45-caliber pistol toward a mirror with the laser sight pointed at himself.
Unfortunately for him, it’s illegal for a convicted felon to carry a firearm. Even more unfortunately for him, the FBI happened to be investigating him for suspected “illicit conduct” in the fall of 2013 at the same time he posted the selfie. His conviction carried a minimum sentence of ten years, and the judge in the case tacked on an additional five and a half years due to his prior criminal history. That’s right: Farrad will serve 15 and a half years in prison because of a single selfie.
Cases like this are easy wins for law enforcement, but they’re also a good reminder to everyday, non-criminal Facebook users to lock up their privacy settings.