Atlanta federal inmate accused of using smuggled cellphone to live-stream from cell

In one stream, he said he set up a GoFundMe page for his cellmate


By Zachary Hansen
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — If you stumbled through random Facebook live videos in the past two months, you might’ve seen one or two by Brian James Wilson. 

However, he’s been in the U.S. Penitentiary in southeast Atlanta on a 10-year sentence, so he’s not even supposed to have a cellphone, Channel 2 Action News reported. The streamed videos could cause Wilson to spend another year behind bars.

Jeff Davis, chief of the public integrity section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, told Channel 2 that investigators are trying to figure out how Wilson obtained the smuggled cellphone, which is illegal in federal and state prisons.

“Wilson broadcast from his prison cell,” he said. “We will investigate how contraband is smuggled into any federal prison.”

The Facebook Live videos were streamed between late May and July, according to documents obtained by the news station. In one stream, he said he set up a GoFundMe page for his cellmate.

“We starting a GoFundMe fund for my cellie, man,” Wilson said. “Look at him. He dried up. He hungry.”

In another video, he decided to give life advice to all the “little kids” watching his streams.

“Don’t do drugs, sell drugs, steal guns (and) stay away from the guns, especially if you’re a convicted felon, because the federal law ain’t playing ... the United States will lock your (expletive) up,” he said.

The 32-year-old isn’t set to be released until November 2022, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons records.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak told Channel 2 that Wilson can be charged with a misdemeanor under federal law or a felony under Georgia law, but it’s unclear which he will be charged with.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI have an ongoing investigation into the incident.

©2019 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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