Cybercops in Florida are surfing the web trying to catch predators, prostitutes and pranksters. Orlando Sentinel reporters Amy Edward and Walter Pacheco recently recounted a few instances of how law enforcement has used the Internet this year in recent criminal cases:
January 2008: Two Miami-Dade County gang members were arrested after investigators discovered a video of the men on YouTube brandishing a shotgun, assault rifle, handguns and flashing gang signs.
The men threatened law enforcement and made statements, including, “Metro-Dade gang unit, here I am baby” and challenged the police to “come get it.”
Police did, in fact, come and “got” them!
June 2008: Two teenagers posted a video apology on YouTube after Brevard County deputies arrested them for yelling “fire in the hole” at a Merritt Island Taco Bell worker before throwing a soft dink at her. Sounds like “assault.
The teens posted the prank on YouTube, where it had generated more than a million hits!
June 2008: An undercover agent scheduled a massage with Sara Grace Cleavenger,
who advertised a full-body massage on Craigslist. After Cleavenger massaged the
Metropolitan Bureau agent, she promised a sexual act on his next visit. Cleavenger
37, was charged with one count of offering to commit prostitution and practicing
unlicensed health care.
Less than 24 hours later, Cleavenger posted a new listing on backpage.com in the
“Orlando escorts” category, agents said.
“I want to suck your Bud!”
In the immortal words at the end of Fats Waller’s 1930 something song This Joint is
Jumpin: “Don’t give them your right name…No, no, no!”
See, Cyercops Troll Web, Orlando Sentinel, A1, July 21, 2008. Walter Pacheco (email@example.com) and Amy L. Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org).