DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

Feds Consulted Urban Dictionary In Threat Case

ATF used slang repository for definition of "murk"


AUGUST 31--Federal agents consulted with the online Urban Dictionary to learn the definition of a slang word before securing an arrest warrant for an Indiana man who has been accused of using Facebook to send a death threat to the manager of a gun shop.

According to a U.S. District Court complaint, Justin Kemble allegedly posted the threat Monday evening to the Facebook page of Midwest Gun Exchange in Mishawaka. “that 1 fag in there got my pistol confiscated, I got plenty of other guns but I want to murk that cocksucker,” Kemble wrote.

Investigators allege that Kemble, 27, posted the threat hours after visiting the gun shop with a Bersa .380 caliber pistol that had “a defaced/altered serial number.” Agent Laurie Jolley reported that Kemble “presented the firearm to a store clerk and asked if there was a problem with having the firearm because of the serial number.”

Kemble is pictured above in a photo from his Facebook page.

The clerk brought the firearm to his boss, manager Brad Rupert. After examining the defaced serial number, Rupert called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to “report Kemble’s illegal possession of the firearm.” Agents immediately responded to the gun shop, where they interviewed Kemble and seized the weapon, according to the complaint.

Kemble, a South Bend resident, told agents that he had purchased the gun for $200 earlier this year from his former step-father (who later told agents that he had bought the weapon from a Craigslist advertiser).

After the gun’s seizure, Kemble wrote on his Facebook wall that, “ATF just took 1 of my guns :(.” In response to a friend who asked why the weapon was confiscated, Kemble noted, “im a dumb ass I bought the guy like 3 months ago from my step dad 4 days later i noticed the serial numbers were filed down but you could clearly read them my step dad said it would be cool, so today i took it to midwest gun exchange to verify it was legal and the fuckers called the ATF on me.”

Hours after that 4 PM exchange with a pal, Kemble allegedly posted the threat to “murk that cocksucker” on the Midwest Gun Exchange’s Facebook wall. After Rupert yesterday contacted Jolley to report the message, the ATF agent went to “and learned the word ‘murk’ referred to physically beating someone so severely as to cause their death.” The criminal complaint includes printouts from the web site showing slight variants on the definition of “murk.”

As a result of Jolley’s online research, Kemble was arrested yesterday on a pair of felony charges related to the August 29 Facebook posting. Kemble made his initial appearacnce this afternoon at the federal courthouse in South Bend, where a magistrate judge ordered him jailed in advance of a September 6 detention hearing. (7 pages)