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.
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.
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 (pictured above with him), 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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.