A friend of the white man accused of killing nine black churchgoers in June was arrested by the FBI Thursday, according to the Columbia, S.C., newspaper The State.
Joey Meek has stated he was a friend of Dylann Roof, the man who allegedly shot a small group of people gathered for Bible study at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17. The State reports:
“Agents picked up Joseph ‘Joey’ Meek Jr., 21, of Red Bank while he was at work Thursday afternoon, his girlfriend Lindsey Fry told The State newspaper just before 4 p.m.
“Meek called her on his cell phone as it was happening, Frye said.
” ‘He just said, “They want to talk to me, but I think I’m going to jail,” ‘ Frye told The State.
“Meek lives in a trailer in Red Bank with his mother, two brothers and Fry.
“Meek was informed in an Aug. 6 letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbia that he was a ‘potential target’ of a federal criminal investigation concerning the Charleston shootings.
“The letter stated that Meek was under investigation for possible misprision and allegedly making false statements to law enforcement. Both crimes are felonies.”
The State reports that earlier in the week, Meek said he didn’t believe he had committed any crime.
Meek reportedly told the Associated Press that he and Roof were friends from school but at some point went their separate ways. Then, the AP reports, Roof came back into Meek’s life just weeks before the shootings.
The news service also reports Meek said Roof “had drunkenly complained that ‘blacks were taking over the world’ and ‘someone needed to do something about it for the white race.’ ”
Roof remains in jail facing federal hate crime charges and nine counts of murder.