Last Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit heard the case of United States v. Winters. The defendant had been convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine base; and possession of a firearm by a felon, and concurrently sentenced to 121 and 120 months respectively. Here’s the part of Circuit Judge Smith’s opinion that is relevant to us:
The Friday before trial, [Lead investigator] Price discovered web pages for Winters on the social networking websites Facebook and MySpace. On Winters’s Facebook page, Price found several pictures of Winters and a photograph of what appeared to be firearms stacked on hundreds of thousands of dollars. On Winters’s MySpace page, along with pictures of Winters, there was a picture of wrapped packages that resembled many kilograms of cocaine packaged for sale. Winters’s counsel was not aware of the photographs until the first day of trial—the day before the government intended to introduce them. At trial, although neither of the parties was able conclusively to identify the photos, they were admitted.