Meeks' rep says she received death threat

By By Deborah E. Bloom, Mayra Cuevas and Faith Karimi CNN
Published On: Jun 28 2014 04:09:51 PM HST
Updated On: Jun 29 2014 12:22:12 AM HST
Jeremy Meeks

Stockton Police Department

(CNN) -

The chiseled face and steely baby blue eyes made convicted felon Jeremy Meeks an overnight celebrity. But his manager isn't exactly feeling the love.

Meeks' family hired new representation to manage his new celebrity image after his mug shot went viral on social media under hashtags such as #hotfelon and #hotconvict.

But some people have taken offense to the popularity of a man who has sat in jail before for felony theft and now faces new charges of weapons possession, gang membership and probation violation.

Meeks' manager Gina Rodriguez says she received about 30 harassing phone calls, including a death threat. Her office filed a report Friday with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Rodriguez was hired last week to work with the Meeks family because "they were getting overwhelmed," she said. "What a way to get discovered."

The picture turned Meeks into an overnight celebrity and prompted various memes, including digitally altered images replacing his plain white T-shirt with spiffy high-end suits.

Modeling offers in jail

Even in jail, Meeks, 30, has apparently had offers from modeling agencies and reality TV shows. Rodriguez said she is considering four different production companies for a show starring Meeks. And she's also in talks with a modeling agency, she said.

Meeks is still in the San Joaquin County Jail. He was arraigned Friday after being pulled over by authorities in Stockton, California, during a gang sweep, police said.

Meeks was driving and one of the passengers, Terry Bailey, 23, was on probation, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office said.

"A search of the passenger compartment yielded a 9mm round of ammunition and a small amount of what is believed to be marijuana," the prosecutor's office said in a statement. "A search of the trunk located an unregistered and loaded ... 45 caliber semiautomatic handgun along with two extended magazines."

Authorities did not say who the guns belonged to, but those in the car faces felony weapons charges.

Meeks' rap sheet

Meeks' prior brushes with the law include resisting arrest and admitting ties to the Crips gang, authorities said. He also spent two years in prison in 2002 for a grand theft conviction, according to the district attorney's office.

But his family insists he has turned over a new leaf.

"With his past history, he got out of being incarcerated and put his mind on focus to his family and started doing what he had to do," his brother, Bryan Varela, has told CNN affiliate KOVR. "Living the dream that he always wanted."

Despite his ill fame, the fans have kept coming.

"... too handsome to be in the jail omg!!!" one commenter posted to Facebook.

"I want to marry Jeremy and have all his babies. Seeing this picture brightened my day. When I'm feeling sad, alone and hopeless, I gaze into those dreamy blue eyes and all my fears go away," another said.

But others are unswayed by his looks and disgusted with the attention he garners.

"The problem is that he gets more 'likes' than an average-looking or ugly guy who pulls a woman from a burning car or saves a kid from drowning," a commenter wrote under Meeks' photo.

His fans may have to wait a little longer before they see him out of the jail setting.

During the arraignment, authorities set his bail at $1 million.

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