Dylann Roof's Friend Is Now Target of Investigation

Joseph Meek being investigated for allegedly lying to authorities
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2015 12:19 PM CDT
Dylann Roof's Friend Is Now Target of Investigation
This Thursday, June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof.   (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Joseph Meek met Dylann Roof in middle school, and back in May, Roof asked him for a place to stay. Now Meek, 21, is the "potential target" of a federal criminal investigation into the June mass shooting at a Charleston church of which Roof is accused. Meek tells the State that he broke down when FBI agents notified him last month that he's being investigated for allegedly lying to authorities and hiding knowledge of a crime from authorities. Meek says the only thing he may have done wrong was trust Roof too much; during his time at Meek's South Carolina mobile home, Roof would sometimes make comments about wanting to start a race war, but Meek says neither he nor anyone else living at the trailer—Meek's two brothers and his girlfriend Lindsey Fry—took him seriously.

Roof only talked like that while drunk, Meek and Fry say; he also did drugs including cocaine—possibly every day—leading the pair to believe they needn't be concerned about anything he said. "There are a lot of people talking violent things, like rappers, and no one takes them seriously," Meek says. He and Fry also note that Roof had black friends that they never knew him to mistreat, and once appeared infatuated with a black stripper at a club. It's been known since July that authorities were investigating associates and friends of Roof, but no names had been released until now. (A federal official confirms to the AP that Meek is under investigation.) A few people Meek knows, including Fry and at least one member of the Meek family, have testified before a federal grand jury after being subpoenaed. Fry tells the AP Meek is trying to find a lawyer. (Click for more on Roof's life at Meek's place.)

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