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U.S. Law Enforcement Using Facebook to Find Suspects, Collect Evidence


Facebook has become a useful tool of law enforcement authorities in their continuing efforts to locate suspects and gather information on crimes, as shown by several recent cases.

A suspect in three burglaries in Dover, Delaware has been arrested, police said Thursday, with a little help from Facebook. The arrest was the second arrest in as many weeks that resulted from the social medium, Cpl. Mark Hoffman told The News Journal.

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A Facebook friend of the Dover Police Department provided a vital tip last weekend after Hoffman posted Friday that they needed tips to find burglary suspect Ryan T. Gallegos, 31, whose last known address was in Magnolia, he said, according to the report.

The tipster “provided his workplace and a possible address, ” Hoffman said. Although investigators learned Gallegos had left the job and moved, he said, “if it weren’t for that initial tip, we wouldn’t have found him as quickly”, the Journal said.

Gallegos was arrested this week with assistance from the Middletown Police Department. He was charged in three burglaries in Dover and had additional burglary-related charges from the Camden Police Department, Hoffman said, according to the Journal.

Just days earlier, another suspect surrendered because of information posted on Facebook.

On Jan 22, Hoffman posted a mugshot along with a notice on the department’s Facebook page saying Jerome R. Driggus, 31, of Dover, was wanted on charges of second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child, from an incident involving a 19-month-victim.

The next night, Driggus turned himself in, saying that he had no choice, according to Hoffman, who said Driggus told detectives, “Where am I gonna go? I’m all over Facebook”, the report said.

Meanwhile, in another development, photos posted on Facebook helped bring guilty verdicts against three New Orleans men in a gang-related murder case.

The convictions in the jarring 2012 murders of 5-year-old Briana Allen and Shawanna Pierce, a mother of three who was driving nearby, drew a proud response from Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Thursday.

Who’s going to win? The answer could change by the hourwithin an hour of the verdicts against Demond “Lil D” Sandifer, 19; Sam “Lil” Newman, 19; and Tyron “T-Man” Harden, 21. Landrieu claimed a key victory for an anti-crime campaign focused on the street gangs blamed for an inordinate share of the city’s persistently high murder rate.

Newman’s attorneys said it was a tall order to overcome the boatload of evidence suggesting gang activity: scores of Instagram and Facebook posts of Sandifer and Newman toting guns; hours of incriminating jail phone calls and boastful rap videos; and more than a dozen fellow 110ers and other convicts who tagged the half-brothers as gang members, or who described confessions to the killings, the advocate said.

All three men face life prison sentences for the gunfire that killed Briana as she sat on her great-grandmother’s porch and also felled Pierce, who took a stray bullet to the head from an AK-47 as she drove a rental car four blocks away.






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