Mobile men charged in federal court with threatening cop during Instagram livestream
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Two men accused of threatening a police officer during a livestream of a traffic stop are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on federal criminal charges.
Mobile residents Justin Leeland Gormon, 20, and Jamarcus Jahleel Manuel, 19, have been indicted on charges of making interstate communication of a threat to injure. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison. They pleaded not guilty Wednesday, and a judge set it for trial in the August term.
The charges stem from a traffic stop on Summerville Street by Mobile police on April 21. Among the occupants, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit, was Milton “Milt-Milt” Carter. According to testimony at a preliminary hearing earlier this year, Carter was the intended target of a fatal, mistaken-identity shooting at the Bank Nightlife club on Azalea Road in September.
Carter and the other two people in the car have been associated with a gang known as the Purple Babies, according to the affidavit. That criminal complaint indicates that the defendants associated with that gang, as well.
According to the criminal complaint, Carter began live-streaming the stop over Instagram. Although officers found two guns in the car, they did not file any criminal charges.
Neither Gormon nor Manuel were in the car with Carter, but the criminal complaint alleges that they both left messages on the Instagram video feed making threats against one of the officers involved in the stop, Michael McGuire.
The indictment quotes Gormon as writing, “Imm smoke mike when I catch em,” and Manuel is accused of writing, “We got some for Mike,” followed by “Justin wya we finna find mike.”
The affidavit also includes a number of photos that Gormon posted on social media showing them with guns, including one with a device known as a Glock switch that converts weapons into machine guns. Manuel posted an image on Instagram showing a Tommy Gun in a case, the affidavit states.
According to the criminal complaint, it was not clear if either defendant attempted to locate the officer. But a subsequent search of Gormon’s home turned up two AR-style pistols, according to the affidavit.
“From Gorman’s recently posted photos, I believe that Gorman had ready access to firearms and could have used those firearms to injure or kill Officer McGuire,” the agent wrote.
The affidavit indicates that Gorman admitted to Mobile police investigators that he made the Instagram comments but claimed they were meant as a joke.
Updated at 4:59 p.m. to include details from the arraignment.
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