Cops Use Facebook to Bust Bragging Criminals - NBC New York

Cops Use Facebook to Bust Bragging Criminals

Here's a tip: If you steal something, don't brag about it on your personal profile



    Cops Use Facebook to Bust Bragging Criminals
    Convicted drug dealer Tyrell Blue claimed on his MySpace that he made over $250,000 a year

    A note to all current and prospective criminals: If you plan on robbing someone’s jewelry, don’t post a picture of yourself showing off that jewelry on Facebook.

    NYPD detectives have been using social-networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace as a crime-fighting tool, busting up drug rings, gangs, solving sexual assaults, and finding stolen goods, according to the New York Post.

    "It's almost become unfair," said a law-enforcement source to the Post. "Facebook and MySpace are killing these guys."

    One criminal, James Roberts, a convicted thief out of Manhattan, was found on MySpace showing off a ring that cops say he robbed from a man at a Chelsea bus stop a day earlier.

    “This guy's boasting, 'I've got new bling!” said a police source.

    When the detectives found the photo, they showed it to the victim, who was quickly able to identify the stolen ring. Roberts, along with a partner, Darryl Calier, were both arrested and convicted of robbery, and were sentenced to five years in prison.

    Another criminal, Crown-Heights based drug dealer Tyrell “Handsome Rell” Blue, was convicted of multiple counts of selling narcotics using a photo on his MySpace page of him holding a wad of cash and claiming that he made $250,000 a year as evidence.

    Some units even have individuals dedicated to the social-networking element of crime-fighting. For example, Kevin O'Connor, a lieutenant with the Manhattan North Gang Intelligence unit is considered a social-media expert who combs through Twitter and other sites for clues about turf wars and suspects, the Post says.

    And such tactics are apparently working rather well in identifying suspects -- from your average street criminal to gang members.

    "You can find a lot of gangs on MySpace; they actually have their own sites," one investigator told the Post. "They put a lot of stuff out there."