Close ‘Call’! Albany Man Nearly Jailed After Selling Phone Online
The Internet is a magical plays, he says as he writes a story to be published on the Internet.
It really is, though. You can re-connect with friends and relatives. You can stay up-to-date on any number of topics related to news, sports, politics and so much more. You can even buy or sell goods from strangers from the comfort of your own home.
Let's pause on that last one for a moment. Buying and selling things from strangers. It's a revolutionary idea, and a number of websites offer that ability to their patrons. eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace are trendsetters in that area, and allow people from across the globe to spend and make money.
The one downfall, however, is the lack of direct interaction with your buyer or seller, something that can get people in a lot of trouble, even by accident. Unfortunately, Albany resident Frederick Williams fits that description perfectly.
Meet Frederick Williams, Who "Committed" a Crime in Name Only
While the term "Florida man" is meant to signify someone doing something dumb or unusual, maybe the term "Albany man" can be used for someone who has something unlucky happen to them.
Either way, according to a story published by The Times Union, an Albany man named Frederick Williams was arrested, and nearly indicted, in connection with a drug ring that had been busted in the area.
Williams, a 33-year old man and employee at a restaurant in the region, had bought his wife an iPhone, according to the article. Insisting that she didn't need the upgraded phone, Williams chose to sell the phone instead, placing it up for bit on the Facebook Marketplace. The phone was sold, Williams received his compensation, he shipped the phone to the buyer in question, and as far as he knew, the entire situation had come and gone.
Then, six months later, out of the blue, he was arrested, and detained for close to six months.
More recently, Operation Crosstown Quarantine was executed in Albany, taking down individuals connected to the sale of drugs, organized crime, and other issues plaguing the state capital. 47 total individuals were indicted in court as part of the raid, and were given various prison sentences.
The evidence surrounding one man, however, consistently failed to hold up to scrutiny. That man was Frederick Williams, who had been arrested as part of the raid.
As it turns out, though Williams had shipped the phone to its new owner, he had failed to completely scrub the existing memory from the phone. Essentially, he shipped *his* phone to someone else for them to use, and that is exactly what they had done.
The phone was used as a "burner phone" in the execution of a particular drug deal, which is why Williams was connected to exactly *one* of the countless sales that were brought up as part of this raid and string of trials.
So, Williams is a free man. He is not, however, free from the impact of this wrongful arrest, having lost his job during the time he was away. As The Times Union article asserts, Williams may choose to file a lawsuit for his arrest and treatment.
The entire situation is very ugly and convoluted, and if nothing else, Williams is at least free to be back with his family again.