Saturday, December 16, 2006

Florida Detective Uses a Computer!

In Charlotte County, Florida, 17 year old student David Carol was arrested after setting up a marijuana deal with an undercover police officer on his Myspace page. Detective Thomas "Sherlock Holmes" Lewis came up with the idea that we can use computers to solve crimes. Brilliant.
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"My kids were using Myspace.com, and when I went on the computer to see what they were doing on there ... I restricted their use of it, and I started using it myself," the detective said. "I think that if the criminals are going to use the computer to commit crimes, we're going to have to use the computer to solve crimes."

With the help of his 16- and 13-year-old daughters -- who "helped me learn the lingo," he said -- Lewis searched the site for local marijuana peddlers. He found "Dae-Dae," whose page "contained a text indicating that he would sell marijuana," a PGPD report said. Lewis contacted "Dae-Dae" via Myspace, and the two arranged to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at a Shell gas station on Tamiami Trail to exchange 2 ounces of marijuana for $400.

[Carroll] was charged with possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Carroll was released to a parent's custody.

Pam Carroll, The Academy at Charlotte Technical Center student's mother, disapproved of the methods used by police in her son's case. "It's like entrapment," she said Wednesday. "What my son did was wrong, but what the officers did undercover was, too. It's like bribing these kids because it's right there -- it's easy money."
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Sites like MySpace and Facebook really have exploded in popularity in the past three years, for all age groups. But it does seem that these sites are becoming of great importance to high school and middle school students, who sometime spend hours at a time looking up profiles and creating their own. And clearly its not to difficult to get them to meet up with complete strangers to sell pot.

Students should know that these Networking sites are not secure and the information we put onto them can now be accessible to anyone who wants it bad enough. This doesn't stop at police officers. You can expect employer's and even some colleges to be looking at your profiles when considering your admission. Look at some of the groups on these sites. Everything from drug use to fetishes are turned into somewhat fun, but more or less pointless advertisements of your personal life. This is information you probably don't want to be brought up during a job interview.

Now, I'm not saying I don't belong to any facebook groups, but I try to stray away from the "I Smoke Bluntz 24/7" and "I play Beer Pong till I Puke" type. My point, and I do have one, is that these Networking sites are useful and fun tools but now that Detective Lewis has finally figured out that computers can be used to arrest people for marijuana, students might want to be more careful about what we post for the world to see. I have little doubt that more extensive police searches of these pages will be occurring on a larger level in the next few years. Searching and grouping profiles with keywords like drugs, legalization, and SSDP......

3 comments:

800 pound gorilla said...

So the "slick cop" caught a very stupid dealer. I'm not impressed. I lived with a dealer. It's not hard to elude the chickens on the beat. He never even got arrested.

Of course, smart dealers don't sell to kids period. They are way too much trouble. Only addicts sell to kids. Only gangs sell drugs to kids. Smart dealers work in businesses where they can socialize with users and learn something about their social life before making a pitch to sell drugs. They really don't have to pitch that hard either. Their users come from coworkers or clients.
My friend was a self made millionaire before the age of 30. He laundered the money through legitimate business ventures. He was a high roller and got his stake dealing drugs. If - after observing a business - you wonder how the business stays open, you might consider that there is a strong base of drug money keeping it afloat.

Jonathan Perri said...

I'm not impressed either. My post was filled w/ sarcasm.

Sure, smart dealers dont sell pot to kids. But only addicts and gangs do? Your wrong on that one 800#. Someones gotta sell to them, thats why they use.

I agree, its usually the dumb ones that get caught, but most marijuana dealers are not "self made millionaires" like your friend.

800 pound gorilla said...

I'll tell you why smart dealers who don't operate with the protection of a gang don't. Kids are too unreliable. They are more likely to get into trouble and less likely to remain loyal. Smart dealers don't touch crystal meth. It's too easy to spin outa control. They sell more useful varieties of meth to workaholic users. And yes, many of them are bosses who sell to their own employees to get production up - at their workers' expense.

A good dealer minimizes exposure and visibility. If you break into gang clientele you are likely to be visited by your local chickens - possibly dressed up in commando outfits. That's how informants work: eliminate the competition. If you sell to people without parents looking over their shoulder that's one more risk avoided. Users don't sell out dealers but parents do. A dealer could operate in a low income area with dysfunctional families but that's where undercover police hang out.

Police are cowards and when it comes to catching dealers they're noobs. They are so easy to manipulate. I wouldn't be surprised if someone hasn't devised a scam to sue police for illegal entry after leading them to false conclusions. Besides there are enough legitimate suits against them for misconduct no one would even notice.