You see it damn near every day. Folks hop on social media and incriminate themselves all the time trying to flex for their followers. By now, they should know that the police are keeping track of people’s every move on social media if they believe they are up to something, and social networks are obligated to comply if the cops come looking for evidence. In 2014, 103 alleged gangsters were arrested in New York City in the biggest gang bust in the city’s history. Social media activities of the accused played a role in their downfall.
Most recently, social media has taken down two rival crews 75 miles upstate of NYC, in the town of Poughkeepsie. The cliques in question are known as “Uptown” (a.k.a. “Mob Stars” and “Boogotti Boys”) and “Downtown” (a.k.a. “Most Hated” and “420 Boys”). A total of 31 members of the crews were indicted by the federal prosecutor on Thursday for violence and drug dealing. While both Uptown and Downtown carried themselves in a sophisticated manner, holding meetings and holding down turfs in different housing projects, they exposed their criminal exploits themselves by posting them online, thus making it easy for the boys.
“Members and associates promoted the enterprise on social media websites such as Facebook and YouTube,” reads the indictment against the 19 Downtown members included. “Downtown members posted written posts, videos and photographs during which they, among other things, referenced various subgroup names, shootings, firearms and drug dealing.”
The Uptown indictment pretty much reads the same way, but it also included a Facebook photo of a member flashing wads of 20′ and 100 dollar bills, believed to be gleaned from slinging drugs.
According to Newsweek:
Social media also played a role in one of the two murders that Uptown members allegedly carried out. After members of Downtown posted challenges to Uptown on Facebook last year, prosecutors said, three Uptown members brought two of their gang’s shared guns to a barbecue and opened fire at the Downtown members there. However, they missed and instead hit and killed teenager Caval Haylett, an innocent bystander and honor roll student who was not a member of any gang.
The young men indicted are probably facing lengthy prison sentences. Nothing lasts forever, but they probably could’ve stayed free longer if they just didn’t have to stunt on social media. Let this be yet another lesson that stunting on social media, while you’re doing dirt is never a good idea.