Feds name Dylann Roof friend as target

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbia has notified a friend of Dylann Roof’s that he is a “potential target” of a federal criminal investigation concerning the June killings of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church.

And several people he knows have testified before a federal grand jury.  

The Meek brothers – Jacob, Joey and Justin, from left – were very nervous as the FBI was knocking on the door this summer.Joseph Meek Jr., 21, of Red Bank, was notified in an Aug. 6 letter that he was under investigation for possible misprision and allegedly making false statements to law enforcement. Both crimes are felonies. Misprision is a legal term meaning the concealment of knowledge about a crime from authorities.

In an interview Tuesday night with reporters from The State newspaper, Meek said he did not believe he was guilty of any crime except perhaps trusting too much in Roof, an old friend, when Roof turned up in his life almost four months ago and asked for a place to stay.

“I’m still reaping what he (Roof) sowed,” said an increasingly somber Meek as he sat on a couch in the living room of his family’s mobile home. “I’m looked at like a criminal because of his actions.”

Roof faces state and federal murder charges in connection with the June 17 killings at the historic “Mother” Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston. A manifesto he allegedly published online said Roof went there hoping to start a race war.

Excerpt of letter to Joey Meek

The letter, which Meek said was hand-delivered by an FBI agent in early August, gave Meek until Aug. 21 to respond to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“I kind of broke down on the front porch in front of him,” said Meek, explaining how shaken he was to get such a letter.

The letter advised Meek of his constitutional rights, stressing that he should hire an attorney and noting that if he couldn’t afford one, the court would appoint an attorney for him. The letter also advised him of his right to remain silent. He said Tuesday he had not yet gotten a lawyer.

Bill Nettles, the U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, said Tuesday that it is U.S. Justice Department policy to “neither confirm nor deny” specifics of an ongoing investigation.

The letter Meek got indicated federal authorities are serious. “Nothing contained in this letter should be construed as an offer of immunity,” it said.