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No filter: One man's Instagram pics lead to 142 felony charges

A sheriff's deputy is doing what sheriff's deputies do: scouring Instagram. He comes upon the account of a man who has pictures of guns and money. These are clues.

The image that especially interested the authorities.
WPBF-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am blue in the face.

But it doesn't matter how many times you tell people -- especially criminals -- to be very careful about what they post on social networks. They don't listen.

Here is the story of Depree Johnson. He's 19, and he's already been in a little trouble.

However, he's now in 142 times more trouble, all because he couldn't help posting Instagram images of himself with those twins of modern despair: guns and money. (Johnson's Instagram account -- duce22ceritfied (sic) -- has now been shut down.)

As the Miami New Times reports, a sheriff's deputy in Palm Beach County, Fla. was doing what sheriff's deputies do these days: scouring the murky corners of the Web, in search of nefarious activity.

Johnson's images stimulated the deputy to see if he might get a warrant to search Johnson's personal quarters. Convicted felons aren't allowed to possess guns, and one of the images showed Johnson with two.

The search allegedly produced a loaded gun that seemed to not be Johnson's. Oh, and $250,000 worth of electronics, jewelry, and other firearms that allegedly didn't belong to him either.

The police believe that Johnson was involved in as many as 40 burglaries from senior centers.

All these suspicions have led him to be charged with 142 felonious counts.

It's not as if alleged criminals are the only ones who are slow to learn the consequences of rash pictorial posting. Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania police chief was suspended after posing with guns on his Facebook page.

In life, just as on Instagram, you need several filters.

You need to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and know when to keep them out of the public eye altogether.