HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – In the oftentimes make-believe world of social media, occasionally the bad guys help the good guys by offering incriminating details of criminal activity.
That occurred in Madison County as the Sheriff’s Office viewed a Mannequin Challenge video depicting a scene of gang violence.
In the video, “performers” wielded a variety of firearms from handguns to shotguns frozen in time and pointed at others playing the role of their enemy. They are filmed in tactical positions, such as beneath a car, or behind a plastic trashcan (as if that would provide cover). The creation was meant to present the feel of a real gun battle with the pulsating beat of rap music playing to add a sense of “street cred.”
Even the untrained eye would have the impression the “actors” were pulling from personal experience.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office viewed the video, and wondered if 19 firearms displayed in the film were legally possessed. Since the location was quite discernable, they investigated and eventually obtained a search warrant for the property on Powell Drive in Huntsville.
“At 5:02 this morning,” Capt. Mike Salomonsky said in a news conference Tuesday, “the Madison County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, the City of Huntsville Police Department SWAT team, and also ATF were present when we executed the search warrant at that residence,” reported the Washington Post.
He said they used a “breaching technique which caused the front door to be removed from the residence,” along with using various diversion devices within the house.
As expected, they found contraband and items possessed illegally.
The sheriff’s department confiscated two handguns, one assault rifle and a single-barrel shotgun, a tactical vest and many rounds of ammunition and multiple magazines to boot, Salomonsky said.
Along with that, they found several bags of marijuana, packed for resale, and a grinder, which is used to grind the plant’s thick buds into a powdery substance for individual consumption.
They arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Fennell White on two charges — possession of marijuana and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Salomonsky. His bond was set at $30,000.
They also arrested 23-year-old Terry Brown for possession of drug paraphernalia, loitering and promoting prison contraband. The latter charge stemmed from Brown arriving at incarceration with marijuana on his person, according to Salomonsky. His bail was set at $3,800.
They said additional arrests may be imminent. “There are several persons in the video who may be convicted felons,” Salomonsky said. “So, we’re going to try to do some identification, work with the ATF and see if we can generate any charges out of that.”
Photo Source Madison County Sheriff