Peoria: SWAT raid on Twitter impersonator turns up roommate’s pot stash

Peoria: SWAT raid on Twitter impersonator turns up roommate’s pot stash

[Ed. – What say you, LU nation?  SWAT raids on sophomoric idiots spoofing politicians’ Twitter accounts?]

The police hadn’t even come for him. When four fully-armed officers of a Swat team burst into Jacob Elliott’s house in Peoria, Illinois in April they were looking for the source of a parody Twitter feed that had upset the town’s mayor by poking fun at him.

It transpired that one of Elliott’s housemates, Jon Daniel, had created the fake Twitter account, @peoriamayor, and so incensed the real-life official, Jim Ardis, with his make-believe account of drug binges and sex orgies that the police were dispatched. Elliott was just a bystander in the affair, but that didn’t stop the Swat team searching his bedroom, looking under his pillow and in a closet where they discovered a bag of marijuana and dope-smoking paraphernalia.

Elliott now faces charges of felony marijuana possession. …

A Peoria judge this week ruled that the police were entitled to raid the house on North University Street on 15 April under the town’s “false personation” law which makes it illegal to pass yourself off as a public official. Judge Thomas Keith found that police had probable cause to believe they would find materials relevant to the Twitter feed such as computers or flash drives used to create it. …

Daniel was never charged as the local prosecutor decided that “false personation” could only be committed in the flesh rather than through cyberspace. But his housemate, Elliott, still has the marijuana rap hanging over him…

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