Facebook Surveillance Lands Probationer Back in Jail on Drug Charges
Photo: Drugs found in Rivera’s car
SAN RAFAEL — A man previously arrested eight times on drug charges was arrested again on March 15 when he allegedly showed up with a car full of drugs for his appointment with a probation officer.
Marin County Sheriff’s deputies found five pounds of cannabis, one pound of psilocybin mushrooms, and a half ounce of suspected ecstasy stashed inside a car, owned by 24-year-old San Rafael resident Vinicio Rivera.
Under terms of his probation for prior drug convictions, Rivera’s social media accounts and cell phones are subject to search by law enforcement officers. A probation officer monitoring Rivera’s Facebook posts noticed him bragging about continuing drug activities two days prior to his regularly scheduled appointment at the Marin County Probation Department.
Upon arrival at the Marin County Civic Center, Rivera was detained for suspected probation violation. Sheriff’s deputies located and searched his car, which was parked outside 3501 Civic Center Drive.
Illicit drugs with an estimated street value of $15,000 were recovered from Rivera’s car, making it the largest drug seizure in Marin County resulting from Facebook surveillance, according to the county probation department.
From inside the car, Sheriff’s Deputies also recovered nearly $2,000 in cash, three cell phones, and a digital scale believed associated with drug trafficking.
Rivera was arrested and later booked at Marin County Jail, where he remains in custody. He’s scheduled to appear in Marin County Superior Court on March 27.
Rivera is facing charges for the transportation or sale of a controlled substance, sale or transportation of more than one ounce of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a narcotic controlled substance, driving with a suspended license, and for probation violation.