While we are familiar with the widespread use of social media as an intelligence source for law enforcement investigators seeking information on criminal gang membership, the most powerful gangsters in Texas' Rio Grande Valley are reportedly using it extensively for recruitment purposes.These organizations are actively trolling for new members. Law enforcement has identified them as the Latin Kings, Texas Mexican Mafia, Tango Blast & associated cliques, and MS-13.
Local Sheriff's Departments and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) have been publicly warning parents to closely monitor not just their childrens' friends and their outside activities, but also to examine their social media walls. They are advising them to look on Facebook pages for gang signs & colors, and tattoos appearing on any photographs posted, whether in their friends' sites, or any other indications that there is gang influence intruding into the user's Facebook page or other social media.
DPS warns that gang members now advertise and glamorize their lifestyles, through their postings, and seek to attract new members to the so-called benefits. Many law enforcement agencies now routinely troll through social media sites of known gang members, especially those of suspected leaders, to identify all possible direct and apprentice members and associates.
In-depth analysis of gang members' social media sites can reveal indirect relationships that cannot be gleaned from routine and one-dimensional searches and that information thus obtained can then be directed towards still more data, which is either relevant or will lead to relevant information. It is possible to compile a complete order of battle of a criminal organization, using the appropriate effective social media search tools. Such details are rarely found using traditional investigative techniques and methods, but they can be accessed through the appropriate social media search device.
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