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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Busted by social media

Busted by social media

Busted by social media

Social media has caught even the best of us. Consider former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s Twitter photo (read about it), or Sarah Palin's vocabulary snafu (what did she say?). Even President Obama (what did he say?) has fallen foul of social media. More seriously, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have undone several criminals. We take a look at those snagged by social media.
Wave Gang and Hoodstarz
Police investigating three murders arrested 43 feuding New York gang members on Thursday based on evidence collected from monitoring what they were saying about the cases on Twitter and Facebook, authorities said.

The 25 accused members of the Wave Gang and 18 accused members of rival Hoodstarz have been terrorizing streets in Brooklyn with shootouts that led to the killing of three people and wounding of several others, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

The gang members, ages 15 to 21, bragged about the shootings on the social media sites Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, he said.'By linking their postings and boastings to active cases and other crimes, these officers were able to build their case,' Mr Kelly said.The officers who made this case became experts in the lexicon as they followed gang members on Twitter, on Facebook and on YouTube.'
The gang were watched and monitored for over a year while they continued to terrorise Brooklyn neighbourhoods.
When the gangs were talking about crossing into rival turf they used the phrase 'going to the beach' and when a gang member was gunned down, they said the shooter 'clapped him off the surfboard'.
Wave members referred to Hood Starz as 'actors' and shooting them was called 'lining them out'.
Wave members were called 'Woo' and Hood Starz were called 'chew'.
According to NBC, last summer a 21-year-old man was visiting the Brownsville area of Brooklyn and was asked by a Wave member if he was 'chewing'. When he did not understand he was shot in the face.
Amanda Crelia
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Amanda Crelia, 25, of Spotsylvania was arrested and charged with grand larceny for her involvement in the theft of the Baby Jesus figure from the Central Park shopping center last week.

The Jesus figure was recovered on the evening of December 15 after Ms. Crelia led detectives to the home of her father, where the stolen figure had been hidden. Ms. Crelia’s father was unaware of the stolen property inside his garage.

Police say Crelia posted a picture of the Baby Jesus on Facebook and even bragged about it.

“This particular item was not open to the public – was just open to this individual’s friends. Luckily one of those friends recognized that this was important and this person took the time and the effort to actually capture the image and save it for us,” says Natatia Bledsoe.

The age of the suspect does have some people scratching their heads.

“I thought it would be a bunch of teenagers just messing around. But I wouldn’t think a 25-year-old would do something like that. That’s crazy,” says one Fredericksburg resident.
Isaiah Cutler
An eighteen year old Pittsburgh male has been arrested this past Friday, December 23rd on burglary charges after robbing a local market with three other teenages that were even younger. The investigation did not need to go too in depth as the suspect posted pictures on his Facebook profile showing the crime in action.

The Facebook pictures were posted on Isaiah Cutler’s profile page the day the crime was committed on Monday, December 12th. He is the only adult suspect in the case. According to police, Cutler, two fourteen year olds and a seventeen year old (all male) reportedly stole $8000 worth of goods including cash, cigarettes, candy, and store checks. Within an hour of the crime, Cutler posted the pictures on the popular social networking website.

It became apparent that the prescence of the pictures would sooner or later get the “wrong person’s” attention. Detective Valerie Milie had this to say about the crime, stating “Well, I guess they’re just stupid kids. They thought they could put [the pictures] out there for their friends who ‘friended’ them on Facebook to see. But one kid had 200 friends, but not only were they friends, some of the relatives who became concerned and called police.”

Excluding the fact that Cutler has previously dealt with a possession of marijuana charge, Detective Milie pointed out that the younger men involved in the crime had not been in trouble before. They have not been publically identified because they have been charged in juvenile court and released directly to their parents. Cutler will face his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, December 28th on charges of theft, burglary and conspiracy.

Where were the parents in all this? According to Milie “The kids came home with shopping bags full of new Michael Jordan tennis shoes and clothes, and [the parents] said ‘Where did you get the money?’” When the parents figured out what exactly happened, police already had leads and began tracking down the teenagers using information gathered from Facebook and surveillance footage from the store. One of the teenager’s grandmothers contacted authorities.
Jesse Hippolite
According to MediaTakeOut: Jesse Hippolite was arrested after he put photos of himself holding his swag on Facebook - posted "Crime pays my bills!" then changed his profile name to a famous criminal.

Jesse Hippolite, 23, is accused of robbing three banks and linked to sixteen more raids and was only caught after he uploaded images of himself holding wads of cash and champagne on the social network site. Hippolite even changed his Facebook name to ''Willie Sutton Jr'' - one of America's most famous bank robbers. Hippolite was linked to the bank robberies by a friend's car registration plate which was used in the crimes. FBI agent Bradford Rice checked his Facebook page and noticed he had posted images of himself holding money, expensive wine and had changed his profile name to legendary bandit ''Willie Sutton Jr'' who was nabbed in 1952 and was known to be a 'master of disguise'. But Hippolite had posted incriminating photos and also posted comments on Facebook such as "What If We All Got Fed Up With This Recession And Started Running Inside Every F------ Bank T0 Give Us The Money That Belongs To Us??. In another posting, Hippolite noted, "Crime pays my bills!". He has now been charged in three stickups and is suspected of sixteen others in Brooklyn and Queens. In each robbery, a black male suspect handed a teller a handwritten note that stated, with slight variation,"ÒGIVE ME ALL THE MONEY OR ELSE EVERYBODY DIES!!! $100s $50s $20s ONLY," although according to a U.S. District Court criminal complaint there is no mention of a weapon being used during the robberies. In another raid a witness noted the first three letters of the license plate on the getaway Nissan Altima.The car belonged to one of Hippolite's friends and agents began checking his Facebook account. Hippolite's web page had an incriminating post - 47 minutes before a July 1 robbery he posted "I Gotta Get That $$$$$ Man!!!". Hippolite was held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Feds say he stole $32,000 during his raids - a far cry from Sutton's $2 million haul.
Rachel Stieringer
Rachel Stieringer disse que fotografou a cena por ser engraçada.
Incidente foi registrado em Keystone Heights, no estado da Flórida.A americana Rachel Stieringer, de 19 anos, foi indiciada em Keystone Heights, no estado da Flórida (EUA), acusada de fotografar o filho de 11 meses com um “bong”, espécie de narguilé utilizado para fumar maconha, de acordo com o processo divulgado na quinta-feira.

Repórter de Cristo - Leia mais: http://reporterdecristo.com/mae-e-acusada-de-fotografar-bebe-com-cachimbo-de-fumar-maconha/ #ixzz1n8AmParyDe acordo com a emissora de TV “News 4 Jax”, a jovem admitiu que mantinha o objeto em seu quarto. Ela destacou ainda aos investigadores que estava limpando o dormitório, quando o filho colocou o equipamento na boca e ela decidiu fotograr a cena.
Rachel acrescentou que enviou a foto para alguns amigos, mas disse não ter ideia de como ela foi parar em sua conta no site de relacionamentos Facebook.
A jovem passou por um teste que indicou traços da droga em seu organismoA americana Rachel Stieringer, de 19 anos, foi indiciada em Keystone Heights, no estado da Flórida (EUA), acusada de fotografar o filho de 11 meses com um "bong", espécie de narguilé utilizado para fumar maconha, de acordo com o processo divulgado na quinta-feira. De acordo com a emissora de TV "News 4 Jax", a jovem admitiu que mantinha o objeto em seu quarto. Ela destacou ainda aos investigadores que estava limpando o dormitório, quando o filho colocou o equipamento na boca e ela decidiu fotograr a cena.

Rachel acrescentou que enviou a foto para alguns amigos, mas disse não ter ideia de como ela foi parar em sua conta no site de relacionamentos Facebook.

A jovem passou por um teste que indicou traços da droga em seu organismo.
Mark Dizon
Mark Dizon, suspect killer of 9 people, including 3 foreigners and 6 Filipinos in just two weeks time, is finally caught today in a hotel in San Fernando, La Union.

Few days ago, it was reported that his family was already negotiating his surrender to the police, but he was able to escape. As shown in the picture, he is armed with a 9mm automatic pistol with silencer.Fortunately, he is already under the custody of the Policemen, foreigners in Angeles City will be relieved to what is called “serial killings of foreigners”.

Mark Dizon might not appear to be a typical killer, he looks like he was gone to school and has a decent family. Perhaps, he was so attached to material things or gadgets. Well, whatever the reason is, I hope justice serves the victims right.Psycho killer caught!
Psycho serial killer Mark Dizon who shocked the world with his murders of expats and locals in Angeles city has finally been arrested earlier today.

San Fernando, La Union
An operation led by Angeles City police with the cooperation of the national police mobile group and the SWAT group lead to the arrest of the killer in a raid at his hideout in San Fernando, La Union at 3:45 pm Tuesday, June 27. San Fernando City is situated about 3-4 hours north of Angeles City in the province of La Union.Mark Dizon (front R), a suspect in the gruesome murders of nine people, three of them foreigners, is escorted by policemen and Mayor Ed Pamintuan (front L) out of the detention center for a medical check up at the police headquarters in Angeles City, Pampanga province, north of Manila on July 28, 2010.A family friend of the Mitchell's recognized the suspect as a Facebook friend of the Mitchells' daughter. (Source: BBC) Czarina Mitchell was reportedly once courted by Dizon before she married a Fil-Am citizen and went to the US. She will be the complainant for the murder of her parents, Albert and Janet Mitchell.

Angelito Prado will act as complainant on behalf of Melissa Prado. Olivia Vergarra will act as complainant on behalf of Yulberto Vergarra. Mjr. Luisito Tan will act as complainant in the stead of Isabel Fajardo's relatives.

Peace returned to Angeles city
Peace has finally returned to Angeles city after his murders had shocked particularly its expat residents. Meanwhile, the news had already spread throughout the world, even reaching CNN headlines.

Along with the capture of three of Angeles City's most wanted contract killers two weeks ago, police can be praised for its efforts in capturing Angeles' worst criminals.

A press conference is being held today by PNP Region III Director Arturo G. Cacdac and Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista and Police Chief Inspector Luisito Tan of Station 4, as well as Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, at the Angeles City Police Headquarters to state the 5-count murder charges against Mark Dizon and to notify the public of his arrest. He is currently detained at the Angeles City police office.

Pasquale Manfredi
Pasquale Manfredi is a "cold and cruel" assassin but he has a soft spot for Facebook that proved to be his undoing, according to Italian police. Manfredi—nicknamed "Scarface"—was tracked down through an Internet key to access the site. He was chatting on Facebook when cops raided his flat in Calabria yesterday, the Telegraph reports.
Manfredi, 33, had been on Italy's most-wanted list for many years in connection with several killings, including that of a rival clan leader who was killed with a bazooka during real-life Mafia wars. Police now plan to trawl through Manfredi's 200-plus Facebook contacts looking for other crime figures.blooded Mafia hitman who called himself Scarface was arrested by Italian police today after being tracked down via his Facebook account.

Pasquale Manfredi, 33, was on Italy's 100 Most Wanted List and had been on the run for a year with police wanting to question him in connection with two bloody Mob hits.

The father-of-two is said to have been behind the murder of rival mobster Carmine Arena who was taken out with a bazooka in October 2004 and Pasquale Tripaldi a year later.

Officers had been tipped off that Manfredi was a fan of the global social networking sight and regularly logged on using his laptop.


Using sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment in an operation codenamed Pandora, officers managed to locate Manfredi to an apartment in Isola Capo Rizzuto near Crotone in southern Italy.

The area is the heartland of the local Mafia known as the N'drangheta who are known for their vicious violence and were responsible for the so called Duisburg Massacre two years ago in which six mobsters were gunned down in a German pizzeria.

Officers from the Rome Central Operation Service handled the investigation along with local officers in Crotone and were led by Edgardo Giobbi, who was also involved in the Meredith Kercher case.

Manfredi would long on under the Facebook name Georgie and even had a picture of Scarface on his site — officers said they believed he received coded orders via the site and also kept in touch with mobsters.

Manfredi had more than 200 friends on his Facebook site and police are going through them systematically to see if any others are involved in Mafia activity or are wanted.

During the early morning raid on his top floor apartment Manfredi had tried to escape by climbing out of a window and running along roof tops but was eventually held.

Mr Giobbi said: "Manfredi is a good catch. He is particular cold and cruel. We tracked him down because we had information he was using a key to log on to the Internet and in particular use Facebook.

"The operation lasted several months and was successful thanks to good police work and sophisticated technology. Manfredi is suspected of at least two murders and is also wanted for drugs and arms offences.

"He is a very dangerous character and he was on the country's 100 Most Wanted but now one can be taken off the list thanks to meticulous police work and a through investigation."

Scarface is a 1983 epic gangster film starring Al Pacino as Godfather Tony Montana.

This is not the first time Italian law enforcement has used Facebook to track down criminals. Last October, police near Rome arrested a burglar who logged on to the social network during a break-in and sent messages to his friends.

Alfred Hightower

Hightower, who was wanted for this crime, was tracked down by police after fleeing to Canada. Police found he was a fan of this online game, and they subpoenaed the game's maker. Using this, they tracked Hightower’s IP as well as his billing address.

Maxi Sopo

A man on the run, wanted for fraud by US authorities, inadvertently revealed where he was hiding through a series of extravagant Facebook updates.

Cameroon-born Maxi Sopo's messages made it clear he was living the high life in the Mexican resort of Cancun.

He also added a former US justice department official to his friend list who ended up helping to track him down.

US officials say Mr Sopo and an associate falsely obtained more than $200,000 in credit from banks.

In recent status updates Mr Sopo said he was "loving it", described himself as "living in paradise" and said he was "just here to have fun".

"He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies," said Assistant US Attorney Michael Scoville.

"He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing," he added.

The 26-year-old, who is currently in custody in Mexico City, initially sold roses in Seattle nightclubs after arriving in the US in 2003. He then allegedly moved on to bank fraud.

The former justice department official whom Mr Sopo befriended on the social networking site said he had only met the fugitive a few times in the city's nightclubs and had no idea that he was on the run.

He was able to discover exactly where Mr Sopo was living and the information was passed to the Mexican authorities who arrested him last month. Some people take to becoming a fugitive like a duck to water. They lay low, go out only in disguise, even create whole new identities. Others, it would appear, do not.

Take the case of Maxi Sopo, a 26-year-old criminal in hiding in Mexico who not only used his Facebook status to tell all and sundry what a good time he was having, but also made the somewhat elementary error of adding a former justice department official to his list of friends.

In status updates from Cancun, where the Cameroon-born fugitive was on the run from charges of bank fraud in Seattle, he said he was "living in paradise" and "loving it".

Michael Scoville, the assistant US attorney who helped find the fugitive, described how Sopo's updates described his lazy days on the beach and wild nights on the town. "He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies," Scoville said. "He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing."

With spectacular lack of caution, and in capital letters just in case anyone should miss the sentiment, on June 21 he wrote: "LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!! BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT ... REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE."

Sopo, who arrived in the US in about 2003, made a living selling roses in Seattle nightclubs until, according to prosecutors, he moved on to bank fraud. He apparently drove a rented car to Mexico in late February after learning that federal agents were investigating the fraud scheme.

Investigators scoured social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace but initially could find no trace of him and were unable to pin down his location in Mexico.

Several months later, a secret service agent, Seth Reeg, checked Facebook again and up popped MaxiSopo. His photo showed him partying in front of a backdrop featuring logos of BMW and Courvoisier cognac, sporting a black jacket adorned with a not-so-subtle white lion.

Although Sopo's profile was set to private, his list of friends was not. Scoville started combing through it and was surprised to see that one friend listed an affiliation with the justice department. He sent a message requesting a phone call.

"We figured this was a person we could probably trust to keep our inquiry discreet," Scoville said.

Proving the 2.0 adage that a friend on Facebook is rarely a friend indeed, the former official said he had met Sopo in Cancun's nightclubs a few times, but did not really know him and had no idea he was a fugitive. The official learned where Sopo was living and passed that information back to Scoville, who provided it to Mexican authorities. They arrested Sopo last month.

He had been living in an apartment complex, working at a hotel and partying at Cancun's beaches, pools and nightclubs, Scoville said.

Sopo is accused of masterminding a bank fraud scheme with Edward Asatoorians, who was convicted by a federal jury in Seattle last week. The court heard that the pair persuaded young co-conspirators to lie about their income to get loans to buy imaginary cars, and then used the money to prop up Asatoorians's business and to take an expensive trip to Las Vegas.

Asatoorians is expected to be sentenced to at least five years in prison. If convicted, Sopo could face up to 30 years. Whether the US authorities will allow him to update his status should that happen remains to be seen.
Jonathan G. Parker

Jonathan did a little Facebooking in a bedroom that wasn’t his, then left with his profile still on the screen. That screen was in a house that he had broken into and was in the process of stealing jewellery from. With his name and photo there for the victims to see when they returned home, it wasn’t hard for them to track down the friend he was crashing with. Parker was in jail in short order.
Did I mention he was a dummy?In one of the most famous cases of Facebook-related crimes, Parker was arrested for this offense. He was linked with the crime after leaving the victim's computer logged on to his Facebook.

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