The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested Joey Meek, a friend of Dylann Roof, on Thursday.
Although the charges that Meek is facing haven’t been revealed yet, authorities say that Meek was under investigation since the deadly attack at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for not disclosing to the authorities what he knew about the incident. After the incident, Meek told CNN that Roof had vowed in a drunken state that he was about to “do something crazy.” As a precaution, Meek hid Roof’s gun that night, but replaced it the next day.
After learning about the description of the suspect sought in the Charleston massacre, Meek contacted the FBI the next morning and gave them a detailed description of Roof’s license plate number.
Meek lives in a trailer with his mother, Kim Konzny; two brothers; and girlfriend, Lindsay Fry.
As reported by The State, Meek learned that he was being considered as a “potential target” for the Charleston shootings in an August 6 letter that he received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. If found guilty of misprision, which means withholding information from law enforcement regarding a crime, he could be sentenced up to five years in prison. In cases of domestic and international terrorism, the sentence could be increased to eight years.
Roof is facing state and federal murder charges for the June 17 shootings at Charleston’s Emanuel AME church. Nine people participating in a Bible study were killed in the massacre, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator. If convicted, Roof could be given the death penalty. Soon after the incident, pictures of Roof waving the Confederate flag emerged on social media, and a manifesto was published online that said that he wanted to start a race war.
Lexington County court records reveal that Meek had pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen vehicle earlier this year, and is currently serving probation.
Fry said that Meek fears that he will be convicted. Meek has been attempting to get an attorney ever since he received the letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office. “He’s got a good job now,” Fry said. Meek currently works repairing air conditioners. “He’s paying probation,” Fry further said. “We’re supposed to move soon. We’re trying to save money for a car. But now we have to do this.”
While Meek’s mother says that “everybody knew what was coming,” she is also infuriated over how unfairly Meek is being treated. She said that her son “deserves different,” adding, “I’m worried, but then I’m not worried because I know my son didn’t do anything wrong He shouldn’t have gotten arrested.”
“I’m sorry this all happened to everybody,” Meek said in June. “And it could have been prevented if people would have taken him serious. But Dylann wasn’t a serious person, and no one took him serious.”
An attorney representing Roof said that the accused was ready to plead guilty to murder charges in exchange for a life sentence in prison without parole. Bill McGuire, the attorney, said that a life sentence would also relieve the victims’ families from the trauma they may have to endure from the trial proceedings. Prosecutors, however, say they will push for a death sentence.
You might also be interested in: Florida Woman Possessing Thousands Of Bladed Weapons Arrested