A crime blogger in Texas has been hit with felony charges by police, who accuse her of publishing information before it's publicly available, the Laredo Morning Times reports. According to the Washington Post, 32-year-old Priscilla Villarreal—who goes by Lagordiloca, or the fat crazy lady—is a popular figure in Laredo, where she livestreams from crime scenes on her Facebook page, which has 84,000 followers. But she says local police are fed up with her. And on Dec. 13 Villarreal was arrested and charged with two counts of misuse of official information. She says it's a "personal vendetta." The charges stem from the suicide earlier this year of a US Customs and Border Protection employee. Villarreal had the employee's name before police made it public.
Texas law says people can be charged with misuse of official information if they receive it "with intent to obtain a benefit" from it, Texas Monthly reports. Police say in Villarreal's case, that benefit was Facebook popularity. Her lawyer says that should scare all news outlets, where whoever gets the scoop "gets the most readers, or ‘likes,’ or whatever." Legal experts believe the case against Villarreal won't succeed. The name of a government employee who killed themselves is public record, and as one expert notes, it's not Villarreal's "duty to keep that information secret." Meanwhile, the Laredo Police Department has gone after who it believes is Villarreal's source: Officer Barbara Goodman. An affidavit found Goodman and Villarreal spoke on the phone more than 500 times between January and July. Goodman has been put on administrative reassignment during an investigation. (Read more blogger stories.)