Facebook posting from prison leads to new charges against federal inmate
ATLANTA – Joe L. Fletcher, a current inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta (USP Atlanta), has been indicted by a federal grand jury following a Facebook video posting that showed Fletcher in his prison cell talking on a contraband phone with family members and friends. During the conversations, Fletcher bragged about his ability to possess a phone in prison, called himself “a motivational speaker for gangsters,” and also claimed responsibility for a 2010 murder in Ohio.
“This inmate was particularly proud of himself when he posted a lengthy interactive video on his Facebook page that showed him talking on a contraband phone from inside his prison cell,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “He made a further claim that he committed a murder in another state. Prisoners with illegal phones and similar devices inside our prisons pose a serious problem that threatens the safety and security of employees and the public. We are committed to helping the Bureau of Prisons eradicate dangerous contraband inside federal prisons in our district.”
“This defendant’s alleged braggadocio potentially will earn him more time in USP Atlanta, which he claims to enjoy,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI will continue to seek out those inmates and others who smuggle cell phones into a prison environment, because of the harm they cause and the continued criminal activity they afford inmates.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other public information: Joe L. Fletcher, who has convictions for drug trafficking and illegal possession of a firearm, arrived at USP Atlanta on January 5, 2018. On January 27, 2018, he posted to his public Facebook page a 49-minute video recording of a phone conversation with family members and friends. During the conversation, Fletcher bragged that he could possess a phone in any prison and that he was enjoying his time inside USP Atlanta.
After calling himself “a motivational speaker for gangsters,” Fletcher then claimed credit for committing a murder in 2010 in Akron, Ohio. The day after the Facebook posting, corrections officers searched Fletcher’s cell and found two concealed cell phones plugged into the ceiling light fixtures.
Joe L. Fletcher, 30, of Akron, Ohio, is charged with illegally possessing a communication device inside a federal prison. He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the FBI.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.