Phony Pelosi Drug Arrests

Q: Were Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s daughters arrested for smuggling cocaine into the U.S.?

A: No. That story and several spin-offs were intended as satire.

FULL QUESTION

Were Nancy Pelosi’s daughters really arrested for drug possession?

FULL ANSWER

It sounds like a scandal of epic proportions: Two of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughters arrested for smuggling drugs into the U.S. from Mexico. Then, they sell out Pelosi as the leader of the operation to avoid jail time. In addition, U.S. marshals assigned to protect the daughters are found dead in a cabin fire, allowing the women to escape before “they could testify against the Clintons in front of a grand jury.”

But none of those things happened. They’re all satirical stories that Facebook users have flagged as potentially fake news.

For example, a story published on FreedomCrossroads.us claims that “Nancy Pelosi’s two youngest daughters, Julie Marie and Nicole Lynn, were arrested and charged in Berkeley, California for drug trafficking.” It says that “the two women, 24 and 27-years-old, were caught at the border with more than 200 pounds of pure cocaine in their Winnebago.”

That’s not true. A disclaimer on the website says: “Freedom Crossroads uses facts that don’t exist and relies more on imagination than the truth. In fact, there is likely no truth at all in what you will read here. All of our articles are basically a crock of doody and should be considered satirical whimsies for today’s aging conservative. All people, places, names and images should be considered fictitious or fictitious representations.”

Indeed, the featured image isn’t of Pelosi’s daughters. It shows Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid, who are from the United Kingdom and were arrested in 2013 for smuggling drugs from Peru.

Another story, posted on wazanews.tk, but credited to Ourlandofthefree.com, says: “Nancy Pelosi is now in more trouble than she ever bargained for. Her two adult daughters, Louanne and Marissa, caught red-handed at the Mexican border with enough cocaine to choke the Kentucky Derby, turned her over as the operation’s mastermind.”

That one’s made-up, too. A disclaimer on the latter website says: “Ourlandofthefree.com makes no guarantee that anything you find here will be based at all in reality. All posts should be considered satirical and all images photoshopped to look like something they’re not. ”

And the other wild story — “Bodies In Cabin Fire Identified As Marshals Assigned To Protect Drug-Smuggling Pelosi Girls” — originated at Thelastlineofdefense.org. Readers of FactCheck.org are familiar with that site’s many fictional stories. Its “about us” page says: “America’s Last Line of Defense is a satirical publication that may sometimes appear to be telling the truth. We assure you that’s not the case. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist. Names that represent actual people and places are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and do not in any way depict reality.”

Readers may notice that the stories use different names for Pelosi’s daughters. They’re all wrong, too. That’s a major tip-off that the stories are bogus.

In one story, their names are “Julie Marie and Nicole Lynn.” In a follow-up, they’re “Heather and Nicole Pelosi.” In another, they’re “Louanne and Marissa.” And in yet another, they’re “Jillian and Veronica Pelosi.”

In reality, Pelosi has four daughters and one son. Their names are Christine, Alexandra, Jacqueline, Nancy and Paul. None of them have done what these fictional stories claim.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network. 

Sources

Schaedel, Sydney. “How to Flag Fake News on Facebook.” FactCheck.org. 6 Jul 2017.

The Potatriot. “Julie And Nicole Pelosi Dragged Into Court In Handcuffs.” Freedomcrossroads.us. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

CNN Library. “Nancy Pelosi Fast Facts.” Cnn.com. 17 Mar 2017.

The Potatriot. “Pelosi Daughters Just Gave Up Their Mom To Stay Out Of Jail.” Freedomcrossroads.us. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

Nancy Pelosi Taken From Her Home By DEA After Her Own Daughters Sold Her Out.” Wazanews.tk. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

Bodies In Cabin Fire Identified As Marshals Assigned To Protect Drug-Smuggling Pelosi Girls.” Wazanews.tk. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

Stryker. “Bodies In Cabin Fire Identified As Marshals Assigned To Protect Drug-Smuggling Pelosi Girls.” Thelastlineofdefense.org. 8 Jul 2017.

DM Jones. “Nancy Pelosi Taken From Her Home By DEA After Her Own Daughters Sold Her Out.” Ourlandofthefree.com. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

About Us.” Ourlandofthefree.com. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

About Us.” Thelastlineofdefense.org. Accessed 12 Jul 2017.

Hennessy, Michelle. “‘Peru 2′ may soon be one as Reid’s parents pay to bring her home.” Thejournal.ie. 10 Feb 2014.

Handcuffed Michaella McCollum Connolly taken to Peru court to face drugs charges.” Belfast Telegraph Digital. 20 Aug 2013.

Pelosi Daughters Drug Arrest: They Gave Up More Than Just Their Mom-More Arrests Coming.” Flashnewscorner.com. 7 Jul 2017.

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