Jeremy Meeks representative of Stockton California’s crime crisis

Jeremy Meeks representative of Stockton California’s crime crisis

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Jeremy Meeks mug shots 2004, 2007, 2014 and a more candid shot imposed over the Stockton waterfront
Jeremy Meeks mug shots 2004, 2007, 2014 and a more candid shot imposed over the Stockton waterfront

CHICAGO, June 22, 2014 – A picture can tell a thousand words. However in the saga of Jeremy Meeks, those words  – handsome, pretty, adorable, and the ever present OMG! – ring false.

On June 18, 2014 the Stockton, California Police Department arrested Jeremy Meeks, 30, one of four men arrested Wednesday in raids in Stockton. Meeks’ booking photo shows a pensive, full lipped, ice blue eyed man, with head tilted in a ‘come hither my dear’ pose.

The photographer taking those booking shots needs to take his or her skills elsewhere, maybe taking passport or driver’s license pics. Because Meeks is not quite the good guy folks think he is from his attractive photo.


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Just ask his ex-wife, who is reportedly quite furious over the fawning attention her ex is getting.

The people of Stockton are not very pleased either. The city, located in Northern California south of Sacramento, is the San Joaquin County seat. With a population in 2012 of just under 300,000, Stockton is a small town and like many small towns has been affected by the recent economy and the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis.

In July 2012, Stockton became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection. The city approved a plan to exit bankruptcy in October.

Stockton California
Stockton California

A lovely city, Stockton is beset by some of the highest crime rates in the country. Meeks was one of four men taken into custody during Operation Ceasefire. Operation Ceasefire is a “multi-agency mission to curb a recent increase in shootings and robberies in the Weston Ranch area of Stockton.”

Four firearms were confiscated during a sweep Wednesday involving the Stockton Police gang unit, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Task Force and other agencies.

Meeks was arrested and booked for committing Street Terrorism, which is a gang related charge. When stopped by the police, the married 30-year-old dad was arrested on five weapons charges and one gang charge. During the search of his car, cops found a 9 mm round of ammunition and what they believe to be marijuana in his passenger compartment, as yet unconfirmed.

Meeks has a less than desirable rap sheet. The Daily Mail reports “For a decade, he has been in and out of courtrooms in California and Washington for crimes including resisting arrest, faking his identity and grand theft, for which he served two years.”

The thousands words Stockton may be using for Meeks include felon, gang member, “street terrorist,” criminal and maybe less PC terms like thug, bully, or Crip – as Meeks is reportedly a member of the feared gang.

Jeremy Meeks - undated photo from Facebook
Jeremy Meeks – undated photo from Facebook

In photos he shows gang tattoos, including the teardrop beneath his eye signifying that he has a) killed someone, possibly as a revenge murder; b) lived a “hard life” or that the wearer has c) been made a “prison wife.” The word ‘Crip’ on his forearm backup the Stockton Police assertion that he is a part of the Northside Gangster Crips.

CityData.com ranks Stockton, California as having the highest crime related ratings for gang related crimes like murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, and arson. The violent crime rate in Stockton is two to three times higher than the U.S. average.

Violent crime rate in 2012
Stockton: 857.6
U.S. Average: 214.0

Violent crime rate in 2011
Stockton: 778.5
U.S. Average: 214.1

Violent crime rate in 2010
Stockton: 763.3
U.S. Average: 223.2

Violent crime rate in 2009
Stockton: 691.1
U.S. Average: 238.0

Violent crime rate in 2008
Stockton: 799.5
U.S. Average: 252.4

Violent crime rate in 2007
Stockton: 771.3
U.S. Average: 259.7

Violent crime rate in 2006
Stockton: 808.4
U.S. Average: 264.1


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Meeks told ABC News10 in Stockton he’s “not some kingpin” and that he’s trying to clear his name.

“I appreciate (the attention), but I just want them to know that this really is not me,” Meeks said.

Younger brother Bryan Varela said Meeks is a changed man after his last prison stint. His mother, and the man himself, all claim his gang days are behind him and that this is all a misunderstanding. The guns were there for protection and they were just going to work.

“He’s a man who learns from his mistakes,” Varela told CBS 13. “With his past history, he got out of being incarcerated and put his mind on focus to his family and started doing what he had to do. Living the dream that he always wanted.”

Meeks’ bail was raised to $1 million on Friday, CBS 13 reported. His arraignment was continued to June 27.



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Jacquie Kubin
Jacquie Kubin is an award winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.
  • Vince

    Why would the author say this?: “The cameraperson taking those booking shots needs to take their skills elsewhere.” The camera person was just taking a photo, how can you place blame on that person? That statement is very inappropriate.

    • jkubin

      I am sorry I was not more clear. It was that if you could make a mug shot look that good, you should be working as a professional… or at least taking passport or drivers license photos. women are getting all whacked because he is pretty… yeah well I could have also said you can’t tell a book by its cover

      • JozJag

        I have bought many a book because of a great cover…..mistake!

      • Mr. Holipsism

        Has the name of the photographer been revealed yet? Because I think that is the next person to have 15 minutes of fame. All of the mugshots taken were excellent on a technical level. It’s just that this guy was the most photogenic of the bunch. It was a perfect storm, I guess.

    • Nelly

      What they meant was that the photographer shouldn’t be wasting their skills at a police department processing arrestees, but rather take this calling to become a professional photographer.

      • JozJag

        The photographer is great! The subject is a bum.

    • Jeff Wegner

      I blame the editor. The cameraperson taking those booking shots needs to take *his (or her) skills elsewhere. Is grammar dead???

    • alex80

      Don’t be jealous because u ugly…… in the outside…..and in the inside

  • Zad

    Is this clown’s 15 minutes up yet. He’s a convicted criminal. Let’s move on folks.

  • JozJag

    What is this? Giving societies maggots a positive spin? He is little more than a gang banging looser. Any woman who finds his picture sexy, just listen to him talk! That end the sexiness quickly.

    • jkubin

      Did you read the story… I bring out that he is a (alleged and in a past life before he found God) gangbanger and criminal. I don’t find him sexy. I think face and neck tattoos are absolutely NOT sexy.

      • JozJag

        I did read your article. You and my wife have to same feeling about tattoos.
        After seeing a video of him talking…..I don’t by it that he has found god. If I am wrong, I will be quick to apologize.

  • SUPERDOG, INC.

    A lot of fat, ugly, toothless women with no class thought Charlie Manson was hot too. A lot of people thought Adolph Hitler and George Bush were great leaders with a lot of good ideas. This does not mean Manson is attractive or that Hitler and Bush were good leaders or had any good ideas. It is more about how stupid a lot of people are.

    • tempf451

      you said it dog

  • Kathy

    Thanks for filling in the blanks. I’m sure like every gang member he is “changing his ways” when he is caught; staying in Stockton is not a good choice if he wanted to change, either. Gangs do not just let you leave.

  • $5285875

    garbage people seem to get noticed in these very disturbing times….

  • michael

    People are morons.

  • tempf451

    wow you must be high

  • GMC

    No one is placing blame on the photographer…Duh the author is saying
    that the photographer(not cameraperson) takes such a flattering picture
    that they could make better money taking photos in the private sector
    rather than taking them for law enforcement.

  • Chris Hugh

    I think women are just joking around with the fawning comments. It’s a great picture, no doubt about it. I’m more going gaga over the photographer–he or she is a genius.

  • jkubin

    Again, I don’t see him as attractive. I don’t like the face tat, and I am a photographer. Catching someone in the moment, as this pic does, happens. I take pictures of women from up high so that you don’t catch the shadows of their nose and cheeks because the accentuate lines. Tons of tricks of lighting, and such. But like this pic, it is often just luck. He is photoghenic in the pics of him. ButI don’t judge people by their photos. Brad Pitt always looks great… he has horrible skin, but if you catch him right…

    Yes I have to agree with you to some extent, but not really. the story is not about that though. Its Stockton California fighting back against crime, which is 3x the national average for a town of 297,000 (or something)… If he has turned his life around, he needs to remove the tear, the crips.. or cover them with makeup. Anything else is just playing.

  • chinaskee

    That’s what you girls consider handsome ? He looks like just what he is, a low-life gangbanger. There’s nothing attractive about that face. Personally I think he’s kind of ugly.

  • SayHi2YourMom4Me

    So that’s a “hot guy” eh?? Psssh… just wait until I go on MY crime spree!! My mug shot will make this guy look terrible. I already know what crimes I am going to commit too. First, I will “forget” to use my turn signal. Then, I will get a job that pays under the table and avoid taxes!! Thirdly I will jaywalk. Then to top it off, I think I will travel to a city that doesn’t allow panhandling and ask strangers for change. Muahahaha!! Think I’m crazy if you must. But I won’t be stopped! This is what society gets for letting me fall through the cracks!!

    • Marisol Mijangos

      hahaha…you are funny! :)

  • Joe J

    Hmmm I’d say the tear drop tattoo signifies ‘prison wife’ looking at his build. Two years in prison and no bulk? Someone forbid him from lifting on the yard and getting swoll-up, his husband probably. No way he protected his B hole for 2 years in a Cali prison (with that skin tone and blue eyes) against grown sex starved prison ‘Str8′ men who bench three times his body weight.

    The lifers in C block are also anxiously licking their lips at his mug shot.

    (Prison Str8 is a term for men who only engage in homosexual acts while in prison)

  • SayHi2YourMom4Me

    I’d say he’s “terrible” alright.. terribly beautiful! Oh somebody, arrest this guy again for robbery.. because he’s stealing my heart!!

    • Marisol Mijangos

      I totally agree…please arrest him because that “baby blue eyes babe” already stole my heart!
      He is absolutely gorgeous…I really don’t know what some women are watching, because to say he is ugly is just totally false…LOL I mean the guy looks like a model…on a MUGSHOT!!! really??? now imagine how he’ll look under all those special lights, makeup, tuxedo, underwear and the rest of the stuff they use for the magazine pictures!!! WOOOWWW!

      • SayHi2YourMom4Me

        Back off B*%$# he’s Mine!!

  • myhonestopinion

    Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. He is ugly and scary.

    • GMC

      No but that kind of attitude might.Just how is a woman’s definition of beauty supposed to affect the likelihood that she’ll be raped HOW?

  • Paul P

    All of you are pretty ignorant. I don’t usually do online rants, but I have to start with the writer of this stupid article (which was somehow featured on my Google News feed). I agree that he shouldn’t be getting the press he’s getting, but let me say a couple things in defense of common sense:

    (A) Neither should Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and many others. Yet I hear now indignation about them being in the news

    (B) The fact that Stockton, a “small town” of over 300,000 people (larger than both Cincinnati and Newark) has a crime issue doesn’t mean you have the right to judge him either. The last I recall, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and if you signal that he is already guilty by his “less than desirable” rap sheet from nearly a decade ago, then you are just as bad as those who instantly color him “dreamy”.

    (C) And finally for those who easily jump to conclusions, the tear drop tattoo usually signifies losing a loved one, such as Amar’e Stoudemire when his brother died.

    I’m not defending anything he has done, but I’m also not going to be as judgmental as you all are. You don’t realize you’re just drinking from the same bowl of soup.

    • jkubin

      As to the tear drop: I researched and it has three meanings. The original was prison wife. Then the gangs took it to mean someone they loved or another member got killed. When it is filled in, they got retribution. The other meant that you have lived a hard lfe.

      I did not assume anything about Meeks. The police have released information as to his rap sheet; he is married, he has a child. I pointed out that he said he was no longer in the life and that he was just going to work.

      I offered some facts on Stockton; a communities who, regardless of its size or size in comparison to other cities, has serious crime rate of more than two often nearly three times the national average.

      Not sure how that is being judgmental. I have no judgement on Meeks, other than the personal opinion that I do not find him attractive.

      And I do not decide what goes to or does not go to Google news, but Google news is not just about political news. Entertainment, social, and trending.

      • alex80

        well well well, chub’s in love with the felon……kinky girl

  • totally1

    jeremy is gorgeous. what he did is totally wrong, but that doesn’t change how he looks. Most women don’t wish to marry him or break him out of jail! (some said they did, but i’m sure they were joking). Hell, none of his admirers even went to his court thing friday and his go fund me page hasn’t even raised that much money, considering all the press he’s getting.

  • Dalaomei

    Looks like a nasty tattooed mutt and it seems he acts like one as well!

  • Lonnie McDowell ESQ

    But with the internet buzzing with posters calling him “Hottie”, “The Smooth
    Criminal”, “Mr. Model” along with several offers to foot his bail – although
    probably not serious – can a jury be found that can be impartial? Will
    Meeks’s “hotness” help him at trial? Prosecutors and defense attorneys will
    be trying to access how the unusual publicity might affect their cases and
    how they can use or combat its effects.

    Juries are tasked with being impartial. But juries are made up of humans
    and humans bring their prejudices, likes, dislikes, fears, and hormones with
    them into the jury deliberation room. Prosecutors and defense attorneys
    during jury selection are supposed to pick an impartial jury but in reality
    they are trying to pick jurors who the attorneys think will give them an
    edge. The prosecution will try to pick jurors who are pro police,
    conservative, and fearful of gangs. The defense will be looking for young,
    progressives.

    But Meeks’s good looks will probably play a bigger role than any of the
    usual criteria attorneys are looking for in a jury. Again, juries are only
    human and its just human nature to give good looking people “breaks.” Jury
    consultants have know this for a long time. Research studies have shown
    where the exact same evidence presented to two juries with only the looks of
    the defendant being different, the defendant with the model looks faired far
    better then the “regular joe” defendant. This is why defense attorneys
    always try to dress their clients up, get their hair cut, cover their
    tattoos, and get them clean shaven. The less “Charlie Manson” and more
    “Warren Beatty” the better.

  • Cheryl Massey

    why didn’t you mention he’s wearing blue contact lenses, as long as you’ve chosen to vilify him? If you look at his prior mug shots… he has brown eyes… and in those pics, he’s not so Striking.

  • Alison Scott

    What a judgement al articel, full of ‘reportedly’ and ‘hearsay’. The Daily Mail is a tabloid rag. By the way. A relatively young black man, hopefully gets out of a vicious circle of crime because he’s extremely handsome and gets his life on track, without a cost to the tax payer. Maybe raises his own child in a more positive way and hopefully mentors others that they don’t follow the same path. People can change and turn themselves around. Hope he starts his new, crime free life and makes the best of it. Good luck to him. If you weren’t raised in a ghetto emvironment, you have no idea.