DOJ Reviewing Practices After Agent Uses Defendant’s Info On Facebook


The Justice Department will review federal law enforcement practices after an incident in which a federal agent used a woman's photographs and other personal information to create a fake Facebook account as part of a drug investigation, the Washington Post reports. The woman, Sondra Arquiett of Watertown, N.Y., alleges in a lawsuit that police seized photos and other information from her cellphone after she was arrested in 2010 on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

A judge sentenced Arquiett, who then went by the name Sondra Prince, to probation. While she was waiting to be sentenced, however, an agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration created a fake Facebook account in her name as a way to identify other suspects in an alleged drug ring, according to her complaint. “The allegations in this case are shocking,” said Mariko Hirose of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “This case illustrates the importance of digital privacy and identity, and the possibility of abuse when law enforcement is able to access the trove of personal information that we store in our devices.”

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