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Federal Agent Impersonates Woman On Facebook

Not That Kind Of Dragnet

Undercover cops often take on different identities to try and dismantle drug cartels or criminal organizations. They assume an invented identity in an attempt to infiltrate the criminal underworld and gather evidence against criminal organizations. It's a pretty common practice, but one policeman took the undercover business one step too far.

Sondra Arquiett also known as Sondra Prince was arrested and had her phone seized in connection with a drug ring that she had allegedly been working for. She was sentenced to probation and that should really be the end of the story.


In 2010 a friend of Sondra’s asked her about the pictures on her Facebook, which surprised her because she had not set up a Facebook account. She then discovered that a DEA agent, Timothy Sinngen, had set up a Facebook account in her name and stolen her identity without her knowledge. Timothy had added known criminals and accepted friend requests, as well as messaging suspected criminals. 

Not only was Timothy using her identity without telling her, he was also for the sake of authenticity uploading pictures taken from Sondra’s seized phone. It is one thing to steal someone else’s identity on social media but it’s another to post racy pictures taken from this person’s phone, including pictures of Sondra in a very skimpy outfit and one of her laying on a car. These were not intended to be shared on social media and so you can imagine Sondra's shock when she discovered them on Facebook. The DEA Agent also posted a picture of Sondra with her son and niece, both very young at the time. Sondra, obviously, is suing Timothy for violating her privacy and putting her in danger.

This fake profile goes against Facebook’s protocol, who has recently come under fire for deleting drag queens' accounts because they weren’t using their real name, yet Buzzfeed noted that the profile is still accessible to all and has yet to be deleted by Facebook.

This is without a doubt a clear violation of privacy, and Timothy should be punished. He should not have been allowed to create a Facebook profile in her name without her knowledge, putting her in a lot of danger. But even worse is the fact that he used her own pictures without her permission. Using social media to catch criminals is a good idea, but to do so by impersonating someone without her knowledge or permission is wrong. 

This case just shows the need for clear and precise rules and laws to dictate the way we use social media and to protect people from having their identity stolen in the name of justice. 


Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

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Federal Agent Impersonates Woman On Facebook Reviewed by Laura Veit on Wednesday, October 08, 2014 Rating: 5
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