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YouTube video leads to arrest and drug charges

There are a lot of warnings nowadays from legal experts who tell people to be careful about what they put online. From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, law enforcement agencies across the nation, including here in California, are looking to these sites now more than ever for evidence that can be used in criminal cases. And sometimes, what you think might be an innocent posting could leave you facing serious charges later on.

Our Alameda County readers can see this was the case for a Georgia man who was arrested recently because of what was featured in several videos he posted to YouTube. Police claim that they watched the videos after an officer was invited to “check out his YouTube channel.”

Reports indicate that one of the videos shows the man inside his parent’s attic with a number of marijuana plants. Another video is said to show him smoking from a bong. This was enough to secure a search warrant that eventually led to the discovery of 33 marijuana plants, police say. It’s because of this that the man was arrested and charged with drug use, possession and manufacturing.

Though he faces charges outside of our state’s jurisdiction, his case could stand as a cautionary tale for many of our readers. His case demonstrates how law enforcement might use the information provided on social networking sites as reason to obtain a search warrant. And if incriminating evidence is found, it could lead to an arrest and even criminal charges, which is something so many do not consider when they post things to social networking sites.

Source: WXIA-TV News, “Man posts marijuana grow house on YouTube,” Kevin Rowson, June 16, 2014

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