Were Joseph P. Galvan, 35 and Teresa Vance, 31, arrested at a Trump rally for literally handing out shit sandwiches? No, that's not true: a fake story making that claim was being spread by a website connected to a network of fake news sites that has been dormant for a while but which seems to have woken up again. There is no truth to the story.
The story originated from an article published on July 25, 2018 by a website at yahoonews-us.com falsely claiming to be Yahoo! News. The story was titled "Kentucky Couple charged after handing out free sandwiches containing their own feces at Trump rally" (archived here) and it opened:
A Kentucky couple has been arrested and charged after giving out free sandwiches filled with their own feces to unsuspecting President Trump supporters at a local rally.
The incident is said to have taken place in Paducah, Kentucky over the weekend. According to witnesses, Joseph P. Galvan, 35 and Teresa Vance, 31, were handing out free sandwiches and bottles of water to the crowd. "Everyone thought that it was a really nice gesture", said one pro-Trump supporter who did not want to be named. "I then saw a few people start to gag and vomit after eating them. We originally thought they may have just gone off or something, but when you opened them up it was pretty clear by the smell they contained feces"
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and they may have confused it for a real Yahoo! News story:
A Kentucky couple has been arrested and charged after giving out free sandwiches filled with their own feces to unsuspecting President Trump supporters at a local rally. The incident is said to have taken place in...
The Paducah police department has already denied the story was true:
The statement they put out read:
It has been brought to our attention that a "fake news" story is circulating on social media regarding the arrest of two people for passing out sandwiches containing human feces last weekend at a Trump rally in Paducah. The article goes so far as to quote Chief of Police Brandon Barnhill.
There is no truth to the article. There was no rally, there were no arrests, and Chief Barnhill did not speak to a reporter or provide a quote. If you see the article, please do not repost or share it. It's a bunch of poop and the whole article stinks.
We wrote about yahoonews-us.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
The site that put out the hoax is connected to several other fake news sites all mimicking several well known media brands:
Some of these sites in turn are connected to a larger network that went offline about nine months ago:
An entire network of fake news websites designed to look like local news outlets has vanished without a trace. Most likely it happened in the fall-out of a hoax from a month ago about a security guard at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas supposedly being arrested as the "second shooter" after the mass shooting event on October 1st in which 58 people were killed.
We'll be keeping an eye on the new network with great interest.