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DEA Fake Facebook Page Results in Suit by Woman, DOJ Review

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 01:23 PM

The DEA claims one of its agents was in the right when creating a fake Facebook page for a New York woman without her knowledge in order to find suspected drug dealers, but the Justice Department now says it is reviewing the practice.

Sondra Arquiett, who went by the name Sondra Prince in 2010, claimed that Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Timothy Sinnigen created a fake Facebook page using her pictures and information from a seized cell phone, according to BuzzFeed. She said she learned about the page when a friend asked her about it.

Arquiett, of Watertown, said she was arrested in 2010 on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, but was eventually sentenced to probation in 2011. She said the fake Facebook page was created while she was awaiting trial and was used to communicate with at least one drug suspect – all without her knowledge.

The Washington Post reported that Arquiett is now suing over the fake Facebook page, which included numerous pictures of her, including one of her on the hood of a BMW and one showing her in a bra and underwear.

The Post said Sinnigen also posted photographs of Arquiett's son and a niece, who are both minors.

"Ms. Arquiett never intended for any of the pictures on her phone to be displayed publicly, let alone on Facebook, which has more than 800 million active users," wrote Kimberly Zimmer, one of Arquiett's attorneys, according to the Post.

"More disturbing than the fact that the DEA Agents posted a picture of her in her underwear and bra is the fact that the DEA agents posted a picture of her young son and young niece in connection with that Facebook account, which the DEA agents later claim was used . . . to have contact with individuals involved in narcotics distribution," Zimmer added.

The Post reported that U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian defended Sinnigen's actions in a court filing. While acknowledging that the agent didn't have expressed permission for the use of photographs, he said, Arquiett "implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cellphone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in . . . ongoing criminal investigations."

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TheWire
The DEA claims one of its agents was in the right when creating a fake Facebook page for a New York woman without her knowledge in order to find suspected drug dealers, but the Justice Department now says it is reviewing the practice.
dea, fake, facebook, page
399
2014-23-08
Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 01:23 PM
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