The mother of the man who gained Internet stardom as the "handsome" felon when Stockton police posted his mug shot on Facebook pushed back against allegations that he has gang ties, despite prominent tattoos that indicate otherwise.
Writing on the gofundme site that was set up to help fund the legal defense for her son, Jeremy Meeks, Katherine Angier said the tattoos -- such as a “crip” on his right forearm and a tear drop under his left eye -- have led to negative stereotypes.
“He has a job and ... He was on his way to work. With no gang affiliations as per two of the charges,” Angier wrote on the page Friday. “He has old tattoos ... which causes him to be stereotyped.”
In a statement, San Joaquin County prosecutors detailed the circumstances under which Meeks was arrested: Meeks was stopped by Stockton police about 6:30 a.m. Thursday after he and others were seen leaving a home where a search warrant was about to be executed. Meeks was the driver of a car with two passengers.
Prosecutors allege that when officers searched the car, they found a 9-millimeter round and a loaded semiautomatic handgun, along with two extended magazines for the gun, according to the San Joaquin County district attorney's office.
One of the passengers in Meeks' car, 23-year-old Terry Bailey, is on probation and facing similar charges.
Meeks has already served two years in state prison for a 2002 conviction on grand theft in Solano County, according to prosecutors.
Meeks and Bailey are also documented members of the Northside Gangster Crips, forming the basis for gang allegations in the criminal complaint, the district attorney's office said.
"He's my son and he is so sweet," Angier wrote on her gofundme page. "Please help him to get a fair trial or else he'll be railroaded."
In an interview with KXTV-TV in Sacramento, Meeks said he's done things in his past that he should not have, but that he's not a hardened criminal.
“I just want them to know that this is really not like me, I’m not some kingpin,” he said.
The Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page went viral soon after Meeks' mug shot was posted, garnering more than 50,000 “likes,” 14,700 comments and more than 5,400 shares roughly a day later.
Comments ranged from the ubiquitous "Omg he's hot!!" to the more pointed.
"He's too fine to be a criminal. I got $10 on his bail," one woman wrote.
All the attention apparently caught the felon -- and his wife -- off guard.
Simone Johnson, a friend, told CBS13 that Meeks' wife was "furious."
"Her man is in there and people are taking it as a joke, thinking it’s funny talking about his looks, saying all kinds of crazy things,” Johnson said.
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