Source:OceanCityToday posted:(March 4, 2011) When a picture or comment is posted on the Internet, it could be there forever for anyone to see. One Ocean City man learned this the hard way last week, when he was arrested and charged with a serious crime because of a picture he posted on his Facebook page.
Authorities contend that Ernesto Garcia-Bristo, 26, posted a picture of himself holding two pipe bombs, along with a comment that he made the bombs to use against another person. The Ocean City bomb squad arrested him Feb. 24 and charged him with possessing a destructive device.
The investigation into Garcia- Bristo’s activities was started by an agent with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement because Garcia-Bristo was supposed to have been deported in 2008, according to the police report. The agent began conducting surveillance of Garcia- Bristo after learning that he was still living in Ocean City.
As part of the investigation, the ICE agent examined Garcia-Bristo’s online Facebook page. The agent was concerned by some of the pictures posted on the page, and contacted the local bomb squad.
According to the statement of charges written by Deputy Fire Marshal Cliff Christello, one picture depicted a Hispanic male with a black ski mask over his face holding “two metallic, oblong cylindrical objects (one approximately half the size of the larger) attached together by what appears to be black electrical tape and connected on top by a thin item similar in size/consistency to a fuse or electrical wiring.” These were believed to be pipe bombs.
A string of online comments below the picture led police to believe Garcia-Bristo was the man in the picture holding the suspected bombs, that he made the suspected bombs in Ocean City and that he threatened to use them against another person.
According to the police report, one comment asked, “And is that one of your creations?” The reply, which police said was written by Garcia- Bristo, said, “C’mon, don’t you remember, Fat Boy, it’s the one we did in 76th, it was a gift for that [expletive]. Thank god they understood, because otherwise BBBBUUUMMM to hell.”
Garcia-Bristo used to live on 76th Street in Ocean City, police said, though he recently moved to Colonial Road in the Montego Bay neighborhood. Based on the photograph and the comments, Christello obtained an arrest warrant for Garcia-Bristo, who was taken into custody Feb. 24.
“Based upon Christello’s knowledge, training and experience as a hazardous devices technician, the item pictured in Photograph 1 and discussed through Facebook responses could potentially be an improvised destructive device,” according to the statement of charges.
The case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Ocean City District Court on March 21.