Gangs, Law Enforcement Active on Twitter, Facebook

Social-networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are becoming important tools for law enforcement in its efforts to control gangs, The Huffington Post reports.

But the flow of incriminating content goes both ways, as gang members have used the sites to exchange information about undercover police officers.

Dean Johnston of the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement told HuffPost:

You find out about people you never would have known about before. You build this little tree of people. We are seeing a lot more of it. They will even go out and brag about doing shootings. Once you get into a Facebook group, it’s relatively easy. You have a rolling commentary.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy David Anguiano spoke with HuffPost about identifying gang members and cutting through the clutter:

It’s tricky. If you find out what they go by, you are good to go. They talk about it too much. You want the fame so you’ve got to go out there and talk about it. That’s when your mouth gets you in trouble.

Representatives from Twitter and Facebook told HuffPost they regularly cooperate with police and supply information on account holders when search warrants are presented.