Jail Official Calls Large Web Mugshot Removal Fees “Heartbreaking”


Phillip Cabibi, who was arrested in Florida for driving under the influence four years ago, tells the Salt Lake Tribune how he was trapped in an emerging Internet niche that's akin to the modern-day scarlet letter: websites that post jail mugshots of people in local towns. At least one site charges to take your photo off. Another has made a deal with a separate website that charges to remove them.

He pleaded no contest but four years later, his mugshot was on Florida.Arrests.org. Some sites offer to remove the mugshots for a price. MugShotsList.com says it will delete a booking photo for a $12.95 “processing fee.” The Florida.Arrests.org webmaster is paid $9.95 when another site, RemoveSlander.com, purges a customer’s arrest mug for $399. Cabibi says he “found out how big of a scam this was. And it's legal. It boggles my mind that it's allowed to go on.” Salt Lake County Jail commander Rollin Cook said that because of public information laws, there's nothing jails can do about it. He said, “It's heartbreaking for us because our intent is not to humiliate but to provide information. But there are people who are doing it to extort or humiliate.”

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