Man's Instagram Selfies Trigger Arrest on 142 Felony Charges

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on December 18, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Who knew Instagram would be the latest crime-solving tool to help cops make an arrest? Convicted felon Dupree Johnson's selfies on Instagram led police to a group allegedly responsible for 30 to 40 burglaries in Palm Beach County, Florida, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Johnson's arrest on 142 charges of being a felon in possession of weapons or ammunition isn't the first time police have used Instagram to thwart crime.

So this begs the question: Can your attention-seeking selfies land you jail?

Enough for Probable Cause?

Instagram selfies of Johnson, 19, posing with guns led to his arrest (the Miami New Times has posted a few of them). Police were able to obtain a search warrant for his apartment based on the photos.

In order to obtain a search warrant, police must have probable cause. For probable cause, officers need to show that it's reasonable to believe that a crime was committed at the place being searched, or that evidence of the crime will be found at that location.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Johnson had five felony convictions under his belt, including felony possession of a firearm. Under Florida law, convicted felons are prohibited from the possession, ownership, care, or control of any firearms.

Tips to Safeguard Your Instagram Account

As Johnson has now learned the hard way, bragging about your allegedly illegal antics on Instagram (or any other social network) can get you arrested. But even law-abiding Instagram users may want to take some extra security measures, just to make sure no one messes with their account.

If you don't want strangers accessing your Instagram photos, you can toggle your privacy settings under "Edit Profile" to "Posts are Private." Also, don't let your friends share incriminating photos of you on their feed. Who can forget how Rihanna's endangered animal selfie led to the arrest of two men in Thailand?

As for Dupree Johnson, police say they also found about $250,000 worth of stolen items at his apartment, the Sun Sentinel reports. He likely won't be taking any more Instagram selfies -- at least, not until he's bailed out of jail.

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