A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge on Monday sentenced Freddie Henriquez, 20, to 11 1/2 to 23 months in prison for posting threatening photos and messages on his Facebook page last November.
Henriquez, who had no prior criminal record, pleaded guilty in June to a felony charge of witness intimidation.
Prosecutors said the case touched off when a young woman was in February 2012 arrested as part of a conspiracy to straw purchase firearms for drug dealers.
The young woman, following her arrest, gave a statement to police admitting her involvement in the gun purchases and agreed to testify against the dealers.
One of the drug dealers allegedly gave a copy of the woman’s statement to Henriquez, who on Nov. 9, 2012, posted all eight pages of the document on his Facebook page and labeled the woman a “rat.”
Henriquez had elsewhere on his page made numerous postings that read “kill rats.”
“Henriquez’s obvious intent was to intimidate the young woman into not testifying in the case, and despite numerous requests from the District Attorney’s Office, Facebook refused to remove the posts,” the District Attorney’s Office said Monday in a release.
That prompted District Attorney Seth Williams to on Feb. 4 send a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to remove what he called “potentially life threatening postings.”
Officials with the District Attorney’s Office said Monday Henriquez’s Facebook posts were removed at some point Feb. 4, but it remains unclear who actually took them down.