Jul 26 2010

Poker and Social Networking Lead to Escaped Con’s Arrest

written by: James under News Comments: Comments Off

The week long man hunt of escaped Australian convict Justin Grant ended last Friday at 5 p.m. Grant was apprehended outside a fast food restaurant in Idalia. However, new reports have emerged that Grant not only participated in a great deal of online poker play during his time away from prison – but posted a Facebook event inviting some of his friends to a poker game. This message formed part of an ongoing investigation by authorities to identify Grant’s whereabouts and eventually led to his uneventful arrest. According to reports on the scene, Grant immediately surrendered after he was approached by police.

Grant originally slipped away from authorities while being treated from an apparently self inflicted hand injury at a Townsville hospital. While many are now dubbing Grant the “Facebook Fugitive,” many in the online poker world are stunned at the boldness of the escaped 21 year old male and question whether his invitation to a poker game on Facebook – and indeed all activity on the social networking site – was actually performed by Grant himself.

According to Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser, authorities are questioning whether the fugitive was “running the Facebook site.” However, many are speculating that Grant was fully aware that he could not stay a fugitive for long and was taking the opportunity to mock police while he was on the run. This theory arose after the puzzling “no contest” surrender of Grant to authorities.

Online poker was not the only subject of Grant’s prolific Internet activity while on the run. In fact, Australian police noted surprise that Grant allegedly posted consistent updates of his whereabouts on his Facebook profile – most updates ultimately ended up being inaccurate. For this reason, many officials are now considering that a third party, with permission from Grant, was simply attempting to throw officials off his true location.

Justin Grant has been placed back into custody but there has currently been no word as to the possibility of additional charges on his sentence. Early reports suggest that Grant is fully cooperating with police investigating his escape – the fifth prisoner escape from Townsville prison since it was erected.

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