covid pranks
Commentary,  WTF

The COVID Pranksters: Whatever Happened After Their Arrests

When COVID started hitting the headlines, there were mixed emotions. The only truth at that time was no one knew anything about it or what it would become. Some people took it seriously and took every precaution while others, not so much.

There seemed to be a new headline every day of some prankster who thought it was all a hoax. For the most part, they were arrested and hit with some serious charges. Did you ever wonder what happened to them? Let’s find out and see what being a prankster can get you:


Cody Lee Pfister

covid pranks

March 11, 2020 – Cody decided it would be funny to lick deodorant at a Walmart in Warrenton, Missouri. He also thought it would be a good idea to make a video of him doing it while saying, “Who’s scared of coronavirus?” I’m not sure what kind of charges licking deodorant would fetch in normal times, but 2020 was not the year for playing games. He was charged with making a terrorist threat.

covid pranks

Today – Cody is still in jail and it appears he will be for another 7 years. But this case seems to get a little messy. As I read through the Missouri case files, it looks like this particular court case hasn’t been decided yet and he was left out on bond but now finds himself back in jail under other charges while still awaiting a decision on this charge. I came to find out what he got for the terrorist threat and ended up in a hornet’s nest. NEXT!


Margaret Cirko

covid pranks

March 25, 2020 – Margaret walked into a Gerrity’s supermarket in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania and decided to cough and spit on food while yelling, “I have the virus. You’re all going to get sick”. She was charged with weapons of mass destruction as well as terroristic threats. WOW! Imagine that. You think you’re just pranking and the next thing you know, you’re getting the same charges as someone who bombed a city and killed people.

Today – On the docket sheet, her charges are terroristic threats as well as bomb threats. Weapons of mass destruction was probably a gut reaction at first and I’m not sure if bomb threats is a reduced charge, but it certainly feels like it. The last information that I can find on her is the judge ordered her to undergo a psychiatric competency evaluation and I’m going to make a guess, but the rest of this case will be held confidential due to the medical aspect of it.


George Falcone

covid pranks

March 24, 2020 – George of Manalapan, New Jersey was at a Wegmans standing a little too close to an employee while she was working with an open display of food. She told him to step away and in return, he decided to step closer and cough on her. Then, he told her he had the Coronavirus. He was charged with terroristic threats and harassment.

Today – Well, he comes up in the news after that for selling masks at his pizzeria. That upset people because here he was facing charges for not taking it seriously, and then he tried profiting from the pandemic. As far as his court proceedings go, his municipal court case seems to be still ongoing. Switching from state to state in my research gets harder and harder for me to determine what’s going on. All I have is that it was “Transferred To: 0089 – PROSECUTOR – 03/24/2020” and I’ll just have to come back to this one to see how it turns out. I’ve heard of court cases taking years to actually be tried and with a charge such as terroristic threats, I can imagine it’s going to be one of those.


Justin M. Rhodes

covid pranks

March 20, 2020 – Charged with Felony Perpetrating a hoax, Justin thought it would be funny to video himself walking through a Walmart in Albemarle, North Carolina. That wouldn’t normally be bad, but he was claiming he had COVID. He even went so far as to touch things in the store while saying, “If I got it, you all got it.”

Today – Justin’s court date is coming up on February 24, 2021. Check back if you want to know about this one. I’ll definitely look it up as soon as it’s updated in the North Carolina judicial system.


Keith Lawrence Middlebrook

covid fraud

March 25, 2020 – Keith caught charges of a different kind. He caught Federal Charges Alleging Fraudulent Investment Scheme Featuring Bogus Claims of COVID-19 Cure. Whoa! In fact, he tried to rope Magic Johnson into his scheme, but the basketball star knew nothing about it when he was named in the investigation.

Today – Since then, Keith has been indicted on 11 counts of wire fraud alleged in the indictment that carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. An indictment merely means that he has officially been charged. He has not seen his day in court yet. I just signed up to be able to research cases in Federal court, so I’ll follow up with this after my permission is activated in 7 to 10 days.



covid pranks

March 25, 2020 – In a different kind of story, the “influencer” known as Larz thought it would be a good idea to lick a toilet seat after news of the coronavirus started to spread. It was part of a Coronavirus Challenge that quite a few people were doing.

It turned out to be a terrible idea when Larz ended up in the hospital for COVID. Of course, that doesn’t mean it came from the toilet seat. But his behavior definitely leads to any amount of guesses as to how he ended up with the virus.

Today – He seems to be fine. He posted a new video on Instagram on January 21, 2021, which would indicate he’s at least healthy despite the fact that he could probably use a mental evaluation of his own. I mean, who licks a toilet seat even on a good day?

covid pranks

There are many more cases that exist from pranksters to scam artists trying to take advantage of innocent people when their mentality is at its lowest. I know it’s impossible to stop people from pranking or taking advantage of others but think of the heavy consequences you could face if you’re one of them. Everyone on this list except Larz is facing serious crimes and they don’t even know what their future holds as of right now. For some of them, the charges they have could mean many, many years in prison. I’m not saying stop pranking people. Just think it through first and a prank about COVID is probably not at all advisable.

Michael Allen is the author of the newly released novel The Deeper Dark - When Haven Kayd returns home after being a POW for years, he returns to a world that has moved on without him. As he's playing catchup, the truth comes out about a scheme he was unknowingly the poster boy for and he learns about a hidden world that threatens everything he cares about. Available now at Amazon!