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Woman sues US government for setting up fake Facebook page using her pictures

Sondra Arquiett is suing the US government for setting up a Facebook page using her alias and pictures as part of a sting operation.

The fake Facebook page for the waitress was created by the government after she was arrested for possession of cocaine, with the government stating that Arquiett "relinquished any expectation of privacy she may have had to photographs on her cell phone" when she agreed to let officers search and use information on the device.

However, it has admitted that she "did not give express permission for the use of photographs contained on her phone on an undercover Facebook page", which was set up under the name Sondra Prince.

The page - which was used to send a friend request to a wanted fugitive – featured a picture of Arquiett in her underwear, as well as photos with her son and niece.

Naming Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, Timothy Sinnigen as a defendant, Arquiett’s lawyer said: "When [the] plaintiff learned of Sinnigen's actions, she suffered fear and great emotional distress because, by posing as her on Facebook, Sinnigen had created the appearance that plaintiff was wilfully co-operating in his investigation of the narcotics trafficking ring, thereby placing her in danger”.

A trial is set to begin next week in New York.