WRAL Investigates

WRAL Investigates finds wanted probation violators online

Posted February 13, 2012
Updated February 14, 2012

WRAL Investigates
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— Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians are wanted for violating their probation. Many of them are on the run, but some don't appear to be hiding.

The WRAL Investigates team found dozens of them on Facebook and other social media sites, living their lives out in the open. The state says finding violators online is one thing, but arresting them is a different story.

April Melissa Eubanks was on probation for writing bad checks to a daycare center when WRAL News found her on Facebook and called the phone number she had posted on her profile. Eubanks explained she had moved, didn’t know she had violated her probation and said she had a hard time reaching her probation officer.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pam Walker says Eubanks should have known she was on probation because she was ordered to report to the Harnett County jail in August 2010 and never showed up. Eubanks eventually took down her Facebook page but was still using the phone number she had posted.

Authorities arrested Eubanks on Feb. 10 in Four Oaks, with help from North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement officers. They declined to release details about how they found her.

Probation violator Ingrid Haffey was also easy to find. She was wanted in Wake County for leaving the state before finishing her probation for a theft charge. WRAL News found her online, happy in sunny California.

“(I’m) riding the Blue Bus to 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica,” she wrote. In another post, she showed off her new tattoo.

Wake County Probation Manager Maggie Brewer says Haffey's crime is not serious enough for California to send her back.

WRAL News also found Everette Faircloth on Facebook. At the time, he was on probation for drug charges in Harnett County. When a reporter and photographer visited one of his listed addresses, they found his father, who agreed to talk but asked not to be identified. He said he was surprised to learn his son was blatantly posting on Facebook and said he wanted him to surrender.

WRAL finds wanted probation violators online WRAL finds wanted probation violators online

“Where he is, I don’t know,” the father said. “When you do wrong, you have to pay. That’s all there is to it.”

One day after WRAL News spoke with Faircloth's father, authorities arrested Faircloth on a probation violation, and his probation was later revoked.

Probation leaders say people like Faircloth are hard to find, because they're not at their listed addresses. Just because people post on social media sites “doesn’t mean we can walk in and apprehend them based on that," according to Brewer.

“If it was easy (to catch them), we would not have absconders,” she said.

Terry Days has violated his probation several times, according to court records. WRAL News was able to find him on Facebook as well. He was released from prison in November 2010 after serving time for drug charges and was placed on probation in New Hanover County. He posted a picture of himself with wads of cash in March 2011 and was listed as an absconder in May 2011.

Authorities arrested Day on Jan. 6 and charged him with speeding, fleeing to elude and resisting officers in Duplin County. He posted bond on Feb. 1 and was due in New Hanover County court on Feb. 7 on the probation violation, but he never showed up, according to court records. Once again, authorities are searching for Days, whose bond has been raised to $100,000.

Probation officers don't divulge their investigative techniques, according to Brewer, but she says they are using the Internet to find people.

"Social media is just one of the tools Community Corrections has in its tool belt," Brewer said. "Our managers will continue to emphasize the use of all the tools available to us to include anything having to do with technology and the Internet. We will also continuously seek out new tools."

Tracking where people are when they use the Internet is possible. Ryan Johnson, with Forward Discovery Inc., a computer forensic consulting firm in Cary, says valuable information is stored online and on computers.

With a subpoena, he says, authorities can trace where someone is physically working on a computer, which may lead investigators to a public place, such as a library or coffee shop. Even without a subpoena, social media sites are gold mines of information.

“It’s startling the amount of information people will put out on a social media site like Facebook,” Johnson said.

Probation officers have lowered the number of absconders in North Carolina in the past several years, but they say the chase is still time consuming.

NC probation violators

Statewide
December 2006 – 15,100
December 2011 – 9,900

Wake County
December 2008 – 1000
December 2011 – 518

Durham County
December 2008 – 815
December 2011 – 381

Harnett County
December 2008 – 159
December 2011 – 84

Johnston County
December 2008 – 186
December 2011 – 140

53 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • mikeyj Feb 14, 6:33 p.m.

    So now the media is also a self-appointed branch of law enforcement? Really WRAL, what's the point of this story?
    This is no different then aan "expose" 20/20 did way back circa 1988 about workmens comp and SSDI fraud showwing hidden camera footage of a supposed man receiving money for disabilty as result of a "back injury". They had 20 minutes of film and untold trips up and down a 2 story house ladder carrying 2 bundles of roofing asphalt shingles. In each trip up and down. It has got to quit hold on while I post a link from down here on the coast;.......................................
    http://www.jdnews.com/news/bogus-100597-getting-guilty.html

  • driverkid3 Feb 14, 5:57 p.m.

    udaycoosay:::Democrats do not want to cause trouble for their base.

    I think you hit the nail square on the head with that statement.

  • driverkid3 Feb 14, 5:55 p.m.

    jasttn2I went through the same thing with my nephew. He is now in prison; has been a felon since 14 years old. I went into DOJ site to keep track of him, and he is racking up infractions average of 3 or 4 a year.

  • NoWayyyyy Feb 14, 4:40 p.m.

    Hey NoWayyyyyy great attitude there. Waiting for him to murder someone before you will call the police to give them his location. Good job! dogluv3r - Nope! Sorry Dogluv3r! I'm not a cop, and it is not my job. I did that before, and he did time, got out on probation, and is now on the run again. So I don't have time to do this every time on behalf of law enforcement. Enforcement needs to do their job. Remember "I" am not the criminal here... I will, however, enforce things if he comes to my house thanks!

  • muggs Feb 14, 4:35 p.m.

    still1oftheOA, No real desire to seek anymore information about you as I know like many others on here you are a figment of your own imagination but somehow gain a sense of importance on this site,very seldom commenting in a intellectual way just arguementive and against the grain with most of your post unlike many on here you lack the capacity to carry on a conversation about the issues rather like to bash all of those who disagree with them have found once you enter into the comments they lose their intended meaning so gotta go not much to argue about sort of a waste of time.

  • Omar Little Feb 14, 4:14 p.m.

    "Why don't all of you illegal loving people on this site go and live with them so we can boot you out when another illegal loving person gets voted out of the White House in Nov."

    What does this even *mean*? U.S. citizens who support a path to amnesty (which would be far cheaper and more sane for everyone in the long run) should move in with illegal immigrants so that said U.S. citizens can then be deported? What? Also, Obama provided his long-form birth certificate that all you wingnuts were demanding *months* ago (you know, right around the time that he ordered Osama bin Laden be taken out). If you still believe Obama isn't an American, you are completely delusional.

  • Omar Little Feb 14, 4:09 p.m.

    "That some fine police work, Lou."

    http://bit.ly/wxtHQI

  • NiceNSmooth Feb 14, 3:39 p.m.

    You have always defended the rights of illegals and since no one will ever really know if you are one or are married to one you can continue your defense

    lol... this is bait to find out more personal information about me but just to point out if I was married to one... that person would no longer be illegal

    I am safe from their impact as I am retired and self sufficient but the younger generation of Americans that will have to compete for their rights in years to come is who I feel for

    and for that fight I am thankful for ... your generation is the truely entitled generation. You came in to this world with the idea that because of the color of your skin you were superior to everyone else and if the younger generations have to get what they want based on hard work and not on the backs of others then I am all for it!

  • cwood3 Feb 14, 3:27 p.m.

    Before you bring in more folks to DoC, might it be wise to see if there is room in prison for them. Maybe-that's why they have not been broken in on!!

  • sabby06 Feb 14, 3:21 p.m.

    How can the public pull up only the parole/probation absconders with a picture without knowing their name or DOC number---------------don't know where you're from, but Busted Locals on facebook puts up ENC absconders on their page

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