| LOS ANGELES, June 20
LOS ANGELES, June 20 The mugshot of a convicted
felon arrested in California went viral on a police Facebook
page this week, making him an instant celebrity with Web users
who have called him "handsome" and clicked "like" on his picture
more than 64,000 times.
Jeremy Meeks, 30, was arrested on Wednesday in a gang
crackdown in a crime-ridden area of Stockton, in Northern
California, according to Stockton police spokesman Joey Silva.
"Unfortunately, this photograph has now become the most
liked or most active photo on Stockton Police Department's
Facebook since we started on Facebook in March 2012," Silva
The image - light blue eyes, with a tattoo of a tear under
one, chiseled cheekbones, hint of stubble and head tilted to one
side - made a quick and powerful impression on Facebook users.
"I hope no one who knows me. Sees this!! But. He is too
cute," Facebook user Emilee Gourd wrote on the website, adding
three heart emoticons to her post.
Other Facebook users, among the over 18,000 who commented on
the mugshot, called Meeks handsome, sexy and dreamy, and many
suggested Meeks, who is held on bail of $900,000, should turn
from a life of crime to modeling.
Not content to simply suggest that career choice, one
creative Web user made Meeks into a kind of virtual model,
superimposing his face from the mugshot onto a Calvin Klein
advertisement and removing his tattoos.
Meeks was arrested on gang and weapon charges after police
in Stockton, east of San Francisco, stopped him in a car and
found he had a gun that he, as a convicted felon, is not legally
allowed to possess, Silva said.
He was taken into custody with three other men as police
fanned out across the Weston Ranch area of Stockton reacting to
a spike in robberies and shootings, and gang activity, Silva
Meeks, in a jailhouse interview with Sacramento television
station KXTV, said he used to be a gang member but is not
anymore and that did not know about his Internet popularity
until a reporter told him.
"I appreciate that (popularity) but I just really want them
to know that this is really not me, I'm not some kingpin," Meeks
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and