Facebook "friending" lands Coronado in jail (Missoula Independent)‏
Sent: August 25, 2010 5:00:00 PM
Missoula Independent (blog)
Facebook "friending" lands activist Rod Coronado in prison
by Matthew Frank
Posted on Tue, Aug 24, 2010http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/Indy...onado-in-prison
Animal rights and environmental activist Rod Coronado finds himself in
federal prison for becoming a “friend” with part-time Missoula
resident and Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle on Facebook.
In a federal court document (PDF) dated July 14, 2010, U.S. Probation
Officer Rhonda J. Wallock claimed that Coronado, convicted of felony
conspiracy in 2006, violated the special conditions of his
“In monitoring Mr. Coronado’s Facebook account,” Wallock wrote, “this
officer found Michael Roselle to be a ‘friend’ of Mr. Coronado.
According to FBI intelligence and a criminal history investigation of
Michael Roselle, he is a well-known environmental activist who has a
history of condoning direct action and violence as a means of protest
Being Roselle’s "friend," Wallock believed, violated the first
condition of Coronado’s supervision—not associating with activists
that have a history of violence or condoning violence, including but
not limited to the Earth First!, the Earth Liberation Front and the
Animal Liberation Front.
“I sent him a friend request because someone had suggested that I
friend him,” Roselle says from West Virginia, where he’s working to
stop mountaintop removal operations, “and given that I’ve known Rod
for quite a while, I did. I guess he hit the accept button.” Coronado also violated the terms of his supervision by using a
computer unauthorized and unmonitored by Wallock.
Wallock wrote: "This officer found Facebook posts from March 14, April
27, and May 3, 2010, showing Mr. Coronado utilized a computer or
computer related device to post information on Facebook. According to
computer monitoring records, Mr. Coronado’s monitored computer had no
data recorded from February 8 to May 10, 2010. In March 2010, Mr.
Coronado advised this officer that his computer had crashed and that
he was no longer using or accessing the monitored computer."
On August 3, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney, of the Western District
of Michigan, sentenced (PDF) Coronado to four months in prison.
“Guilt by association, that’s not really part of our legal system,”
Roselle says. “This is a flagrant constitutional violation, if you ask
me. And then it really brings up the question, What is an