Law enforcement agencies across the country apparently are moving to use social media in investigations, which could provide greater opportunities for test cases in the courts. Examples of how they use social media in investigations, including the following:

Evidence Collection:

“It is amazing that people still ‘brag’ about their actions on social media sites,…even their criminal actions. Last week we had an assault wherein the victim was struck with brass knuckles. The suspect denied involvement in a face-to-face interview, but his Facebook page had his claim of hurting a kid and believe it or not, that he dumped the [brass knuckles] in a trash can at a park. A little footwork…led to the brass knuckles being located and [a confession] during a follow-up interview.”

Location of suspects:

“I was looking for a suspect related to drug charges for over a month. When I looked him up on Facebook and requested him as a friend from a fictitious profile, he accepted. He kept ‘checking in’ everywhere he went, so I was able to track him down very easily.”

Criminal Network Identification:

“Social media is a valuable tool because you are able to see the activities of a target in his comfortable stage. Targets brag and post…information in reference to travel, hobbies, places visited, appointments, the circle of friends, family members, relationships, actions, etc.”


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