A California man has gained national celebrity following his arrest—not for his alleged crimes, but for his looks.
Jeremy Meeks, 30, was arrested June 20 on weapons and gang charges, and his booking photo went viral after it was posted online by Stockton, Calif. police.
Less than 24 hours later, Meeks’ picture had more than 89,000 “likes” and approximately 6,000 comments on Facebook.
“I appreciate [the love] but I just want them to know that this is really not me,” Meeks told Sacramento TV station KXTV. “I’m not some kingpin.”
This is not the first time Meeks has had trouble with the law. Meeks was arrested in the past for multiple crimes including grand theft, resisting arrest and faking his identity by pretending to be his brother.
Meeks, with his light eyes and tattoos on his neck and face, now possesses huge female following of which he wasn’t even aware until his wife told him.
According to TMZ, despite the charges Meeks has been offered a modeling contract by California-based agency Blaze Models, under which Meeks could make as much as $30,000 per month by working with fashion companies such as Versace and Armani.
Meeks even has a teardrop tattoo under his eye a sign of killing someone and “Crips,” one of the area’s most notorious gangs.
However, according to Meeks and family relatives, Meeks quit his gang life about seven years ago and “gave his heart to God.” Meeks is currently being held in jail on $900,000 bail.
According to The Daily Mail, Meeks’ mother Katherine Angier has created a GoFundMe page with a $25,000 target to “help him get a fair trial.” The page has been shared 24,000 times since it was launched with more than $3,500 being raised so far, mainly by anonymous donators.