CBS46 has learned of an almost unbelievable story about dangerous criminals who have internet access and Facebook pages inside Georgia’s toughest prisons.
It would almost be funny if it wasn’t deadly serious.
Shawn Mosley, known by the nickname “Juice,” has spent nearly his entire adult life in prison. He’s currently serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated assault and possession of drugs with intent to distribute. Yet, even inside one of Georgia’s high-security prisons, Mosley has been keeping in touch with more than 3,500 family members and friends.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds.
Cobb County is just northwest of Atlanta.
We showed the prisoner’s Facebook page to Reynolds. When we asked him what he thought, Reynolds said, “My initial reaction is how in the world does he have a Facebook page when he’s a convicted felon inside of a state prison system. And then, be inside the prison system, apparently showing money, tattoos. I don’t understand how that can happen.”
If it’s any consolation, Facebook does seem to cause “Juice” some of the same misery as a lot of you on the outside. For instance, he has a girlfriend who keeps an eye on his timeline and, well, “It’s complicated.”
Also, like a lot of other Facebook users, Mosley often posts pictures of the dinner he’s about to eat.
More unusual — pictures of the drugs he boasts of selling, and using, behind bars.
“This isn’t something that somebody is hiding,” Reynolds said. “He’s bragging about it.”
Posting under aliases like “Eskabar Juice,” Mosley has been a prolific Facebook user since 2010, and he even manages to update his page during prison emergencies.
“Why y’all on lock down again?” writes his mom in one entry.
“Juice” explains that another inmate has been stabbed.
“Dang!” his mother responds.
“It’s mind boggling. I mean, I would think that the people who run that state prison system would want to be aware of this and would do something about it,” Reynolds said.
Homer Bryson is commissioner of the Department of Corrections. He’s new to the job, appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal in February.
“We think we’re going in the right direction of what we’re doing, how we’re managing our inmates,” Bryson said.
When asked about drugs and guns in the prisons, Bryson said, “We’re investigating all of that.”
Commissioner Bryson didn’t want to talk to us himself, but did allow us to interview Ricky Myrick, who is his top investigator.
“Facebook is not extremely cooperative with us on pulling down the pages,” Myrick said. “Basically, the way they look at the violations of their conduct policly, being an inmate does not fit the bill.”
Myrick already knows there’s a serious problem. Not everything Georgia inmates post on Facebook is harmless.
“[It] allows them to intimidate witnesses, threaten and harass their victims that they currently were dealing with. It allows them to coordinate their efforts to defeat out security measures.”
Travis Morgan doesn’t even bother using an alias on his Facebook page. In August, Morgan used the internet to access the Department of Corrections own website, searching out and then re-posting photos of Kevin Lattrell Holloway, a convicted sex offender.
“Warning, Faceook…” he wrote. “This aggravated child molester goes by the name of Bankhead…and is now located at Calhoun State Prison.”
“The call has been made,” Morgan proclaimed. ‘So remember his face!”
“Not only for child molesters, but they put hits on individuals that are rival gang members and so forth,” said Myrick.
Prison authorities are taking the threat seriously, but didn’t know about it until we told them.
By now, you’re probably wondering the same thing we were. How in the world do inmates even have access to the internet?
Well, it’s not as if there are computers in the prison library. They’re using cell phones.