The Federal Government has no problem using every tool at its disposal to catch criminals in action. After noticing an extremely large number of criminals using Instagram to show off their drugs, money, and expensive purchases, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to set up sting operations to take down criminals.
Over the weekend, the special group conducted over 200 sting operations around the United States and arrested over 350 drug dealers, all from viewing various Instagram pictures. Along with the arrests, the Feds seized over $2 million cash, $500,000 in stolen goods, 300 pounds of harvested marijuana, 400 marijuana plants, and over 50 pounds of cocaine. The haul came in at an astounding $7 million street value.
One man, who was identified as Tyrell Jones of Minneapolis, posted a photograph of a remote warehouse where he stored his drugs. Jones showed several photos of the location and bragged that he was “moving weight” in the caption. Unfortunately for Jones, he unknowingly geotagged the location of the photo, leading police directly to him. Geotagging is the process of adding a geographical location to various types of media. The data provided law enforcement officials a map directly to the location of the drugs, where Jones was inside. He was taken into custody without incident.
Jones also posted pictures and videos of members of his entourage selling drugs to neighborhood school kids. In the video Jones stated, “These kids got money too. They can just served just like the rest of them.” In one photo Jones bragged that the police were not smart enough to catch him. Police are now attempting to identify and locate the other men in the photographs.
These type of busts have become fairly common. Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, who was a leader in a Mexican drug cartel, was recently arrested after showing off his extremely lavish lifestyle on the social network.
Brooklyn rapper, Matthew Best, 26, who is best known by his stage name Neno Best, took to Instagram and posted pictures of a large number of guns and cash. The photos led the NYPD straight to him, who were then able to make the largest gun bust in New York City history.