RICHMOND, Va. - In late January, federal agents said Virginia convicted felon Timothy Cureton Jr. went live on Facebook. To their surprise, the convicted felon started flashing a gun.
"Video is no different than a police officer walking through Creighton and laying eyes on you possessing that gun," said WTVR legal expert Todd Stone.
It was enough probable cause for an ATF agent to get a search warrant for the Creighton Court housing unit.
According to court documents, agents found drugs and several guns inside the house - including the one seen in the video. According to ATF, the gun seen on Facebook live was stolen.
"We use social media to find the bad guys all of the time, and it works really well because they want to boast. Rock on. I mean it makes it easy, we like it," said Miles Turner, who runs Law Enforcement Consulting LLC.
Turner's job is to help investigators search social media through criminal and background checks. According to him, the type of behavior "is not really uncommon."
"I had a perfectly qualified candidate the other day with a B.A. from a great school, and I found him on Facebook and there was a video of him doing bong hits," he said.
Cureton's case will be reviewed for a plea Friday by a federal judge.
Stone said mandatory time is imminent but, by agreeing to a plea, Cureton could reduce his time behind bars
"In Federal Court, you do get a little bump down if you claim responsibility. If it's a slam dunk case, usually, the best route to go," he said.
The maximum sentence for a federal gun crime is 10 years.