The ugly truth of the blue-eyed smooth criminal who made social media swoon: A proud Crips member with a teardrop tattoo to honor 'gang killing', who also served time for grand theft
- Jeremy Meeks, 30, was arrested on weapons and gang charges and caused a stir when Stockton, California cops shared his mugshot online
- Fewer than 24 hours later, the felon's face had gained a rabid fan following as over 20,000 people 'liked' the photo and nearly 6,000 had commented
- But records reveal a far less attractive rap sheet - including grand theft, resisting arrest and faking his identity by pretending to be his brother
- His tattoos show a teardrop beneath his eye - known as a sign of killing someone - and 'Crips', one of the area's most notorious gangs
- But relatives said he escaped gang life 7 years ago and 'gave his heart to God' - and believes police are stereotyping him because of his past
- Meeks appeared in court Friday for his arraignment and his bail has been set at $1million
By LYDIA WARREN and LAURA COLLINS and RICHARD ALLEYNE
PUBLISHED: 09:36 EST, 20 June 2014 | UPDATED: 00:53 EST, 21 June 2014
His photogenic mugshot may have won the hearts of thousands of women across the country, but behind those ice-blue eyes is a much less attractive story of gang tattoos, grand theft and forgery.
Jeremy Meeks' handsome photograph made social media swoon when the Stockton Police Department shared it on its Facebook page on Wednesday - sparking thousands of shares, 'likes', memes and very suggestive propositions.
But the married 30-year-old dad, who was arrested on five weapons charges and one gang charge when cops allegedly found a pistol in his trunk, has a much less desirable rap sheet, it has emerged.
For a decade, he has been in and out of courtrooms in California and Washington for crimes including resisting arrest, faking his identity and grand theft, for which he served two years.
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Stealing hearts: Jeremy Meeks, 30, was arrested in a gang raid by Stockton, California police on Wednesday and his mug shot made hearts race when the department shared it on their Facebook page
If looks could kill: Wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, Meeks appeared stoic during his arraignment Friday in Stockton, California
He also bears gang tattoos, including a teardrop beneath his eye - often to symbolize a gang killing - and the word 'Crip' on his forearm, suggesting his link to the notoriously dangerous Crips gang.
In a statement released on Friday, Stockton police said he was part of the Northside Gangster Crips.
He appeared briefly at an arraignment in Stockton on Friday wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffs and only spoke to confirm that he wanted a court appointed lawyer. His bail was set at $1m and he is due to appear again June 27th.
In their statement, cops explained that he was stopped after he was seen leaving a home where a search warrant was about to be executed and, after carrying out a search on his car, cops found a 9mm round of ammunition and a small amount of 'what is believed to be' marijuana in his passenger compartment.
Inside the trunk, cops also allegedly found an unregistered and loaded Springfield Armory .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun along with two extended magazines for the firearm.
Stockton police explained that the documented gang member has a felony conviction and a two year state prison sentence from a 2002 conviction for grand theft from a person in Solano County.
But records show that was just the start of his trouble with the law.
In April 2005, Meeks was charged with identity theft in the second degree and resisting arrest in Spokane County, Washington, although the second charge was later dismissed.
Meeks, pictured with his sister, apparently throws gang signs in an image shared on his mom's Facebook
Dangerous: On his forearm he has a tattoo reading 'Crip' - seemingly a nod to the Crips, one of America's largest and most feared street gangs. Right shows his teardrop tattoo, which often relates to a gang killing
'WHERE CAN I PAY HIS BAIL?' FANS SWOON AT FELON'S MUGSHOT
After Stockton Police shared Meeks' mugshot online, people flocked to express their admiration. Some of the comments include:
'He didn't know any different. I could turn him into a "model" citizen. Where can I pay his bail?'
'He needs to be a model. I would buy whatever he's selling!'
'What is he guilty of?! First Degree Sexiness?!'
'He'll probably be on next years prison calendar...Mr....EVERY MONTH!'
'Marry me, Mr Meeks! Hopefully he changes his ways - but I'll take him any day...'
'I would go to prison for aiding and aBEDding him'
'I wanna be in his cell!'
According to the investigating officer, Meeks was spotted picking up a package of pellets at the Sporting Goods Department of the General Store and leaving the store without paying.
When he was pursued he threatened the store security officer saying he would 'f*** you all up... mess you up' as well as threatening to 'kick your ass' until he was sprayed with pepper spray and arrested.
Meeks initially tried to pass himself off as his brother, Emery Meeks, who already had an outstanding arrest warrant. It was only the following evening after he had been booked into Spokane County Jail that his true identity became known and he was charged with Forgery and Identity Theft.
At the time there was also an outstanding warrant for his arrest in California. He plead guilty in October 2007 and was sentenced to 71 days and ordered to pay $800 in fines and fees.
In 2007, he was charged with negligent driving and driving without a license, although this second charge was later dropped and he was fined just $252.
Speaking to News10 from behind glass in Stockton this week, he told News 10 that he also served nine years for grand theft, although records were not immediately available.
Records from April this year also reveal that he was arrested for resisting a peace officer or EMT in San Joaquin County - throwing doubt on his claims that he is now staying out of trouble.
Striking similarities: Meeks, left, pretended to be his brother Emery, right, when he was arrested in 2005
Brothers: Jeremy, right, and his brother were living in Washington until he was extradited to California
Public Information Officer Joseph Silva called Meeks 'one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area'.
'It's been a long term investigation over many weeks and Mr Meek's gang was identified as the most violent and active gang in the area,' he told MailOnline. 'Two of his charges are gang related.'
'I cannot deny they were members and they call each other brothers but they have given all that up'
A tattoo running along Meeks' right forearm shows the word 'Crips' - the name of a notorious U.S. gang known to be involved in murders and drug dealings, although there is no suggestion that Meeks has been involved in any such crime.
Silva declined to provide further details about the activity he had been involved with.
Despite this extensive rap sheet and his part in local gangs, Meeks and his family still insist that he is not involved in criminal activity.
Doshaney Lewis, 22, the girlfriend of Terry Joe Bailey, who was arrested at the same time as Meeks, said that the pair were no longer involved in the Crips.
Convict: In reality, Meeks is a convicted felon who previously served nine years for grand theft
Gang life: He would not reveal the meaning of the tear drop under his eye, which is sometimes a sign of killing someone or about time spent in prison. But he said there were things in his past he is not proud of
'I cannot deny they were members and they call each other brothers but they have given all that up,' she told MailOnline. 'This has all been ridiculous. People think this is funny but the families are hurting.'
Miss Lewis, who is unemployed and eight months pregnant with Terry's child, said they carried the guns for protection like many Americans. They were on their way to the warehouse where they workwhen they were arrested, she said.
And speaking out from jail, Meeks insisted his gang days were behind him.
'I appreciate [the attention] but I just want them to know that this is really not me,' he told News 10 from behind glass. 'I'm not some kingpin.'
He would not reveal the meaning of the teardrop tattoo beneath his left eye - which is sometimes a gang sign for carrying out a murder or relating to time spent locked up - but simply said he has done some things in the past he'd rather forget.
The ink sometimes represents hardship in life, while other reports say the outline of a tear is worn when the person has lost someone close to them - and then filled in when they get revenge.
Following: Meeks, pictured with an unidentified woman, remains behind bars but is to be arraigned on Friday
'Family man': Meeks poses with his son in a GoFundMe page set up by his mother to raise funds for his trial
Meeks added that he learned of his new-found fame when he spoke with his wife. They have been married for four years and have one child, a three-year-old son, together.
Speaking to MailOnline, relatives also insisted that he left the gang life more than seven years ago, found God and settled down with his wife, child and a job.
His niece, who lives in Florida, said that her uncle is 'amused that he is famous off his looks'.
'He is a loving father, husband, brother, and uncle,' she said. 'He has a past and because of it he is being stereotyped. We wish all the judgement would stop... He just wants to get home to his family.'
She admitted that he had been involved with gangs when he lived in Washington but gave up the 'gang life' more than seven years ago.
'He gave his heart to God, that is why he changed,' she said.
Afterwards, he got married and had a child. Of his wife, the niece added: 'She just wants everything to go back to normal.'
She said she was uncertain if the gun in the car was his - 'but I assure you IF it was his he wasn't using it for terrorism or anything remotely close', she insisted.
Arrests: Meeks, top left, was arrested with three others on gun charges in Stockton this week. Clockwise from top right: Joelin Coleman, 44, Juzri Deon Coleman, 18, Terry Bailey, 22, and Meeks
Found: Cops allegedly found a pistol the the passenger compartment of Meeks' car during a search
Sweep: Police also confiscated this weapon in Stockton during cops' Operation Ceasefire mission
Found: Police said that some of the men they arrested during the sweep were involved in local gangs
Found: Police officers allegedly found this AR-15 in Bailey's possession during the early morning search
His sister added to TMZ that he had the gun for protection.
His mother, Katherine Angier, has also insisted that her son is innocent and has even set up a GoFundMe page to raise $25,000 to get him a fair trial.
Angier apparently has been in trouble with the law for offenses including drugs, aiding and abetting a criminal, trading property for welfare checks and battery, according to records.
'He has a job and he was on his way to work, with no gang affiliations as per two of the charges,' she wrote on the fundraising page.
'He has old tattoos... which causes him to be stereotyped. He's my son and he is so sweet. Please help him to get a fair trial or else he'll be railroaded.'
So far her fundraising page has raised less than $500 - and her son seems to be getting more propositions than cash.
'Hit me up when u get out daddy, I got a list of naughty things I wanna do to you,' one donor wrote.
Internet hit: Memes of the convict's face have appeared online - and Meeks said he appreciates the kind words
Fan? In another image, an internet user puts Meeks' face on a sign held by Michelle Obama. In the original image - which became its own meme - she is holding a sign demanding to free the kidnapped girls in Nigeria
Model inmate: In other images, fans have placed his mug shot in fashion ads, suggesting he could be a model
The sordid suggestions also continue to appear on the Stockton police's Facebook page, where the felon's photo was liked more 20,000 times in less than 24 hours.
'What is he guilty of?! First Degree Sexiness?!' wrote fan Ashley Pruitt Carden, while Rhonda Cee, quipped: 'He'll probably be on next years prison calendar...Mr....EVERY MONTH!'
And many agreed Meeks had missed his calling.
'He needs to be a model,' wrote Bettina Jones. 'I would buy whatever he's selling!'
Meeks was charged with illegally possessing firearms and ammo, carrying a loaded firearm in public and criminal street gang activity.
Three other men, Terry Bailey, 22, Juzri Coleman,18, and Joelin Coleman, 44, were also arrested on felony weapons charges.
The repeat offender is being held on $900,000 bail, but perhaps not for long. There's talk amongst the commenters of raising the funds to set him free.
Support: His mother Katherine Angier insisted his son is a hard-working family man who was on his way to work and simply being stereotyped because of his tattoos
Changed: Meeks insisted that he is a changed man and putting his criminal days behind him
'He didn't know any different. I could turn him into a "model" citizen. Where can I pay his bail?' wrote Deborah Ann Mitchell.
But not everyone's a fan.
'$900,000 in bail and 6 felonies,' Amber Gomes wrote. 'You ladies are desperate.'
Others simply offered their support, including one new fan from Singapore.
'Hope he can turn his life around for the better,' Felix Clarice wrote beneath one of his pictures. 'I believe in second chances.'
Do you know Jeremy Meeks? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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