December 3, 2019 – In Breaking News – CNN
Chicago Police said Tuesday that 53 people are in custody as part of “Operation FaceBOOKED,” a two-year operation to infiltrate secret groups selling drugs and guns on Facebook.
Interim superintendent Charlie Beck announced the mass arrests at a news conference Tuesday and took aim at Facebook’s privacy policies, which he said facilitated the practice.
“Today’s announcement will help educate everyone on how some of these dangerous weapons are being sold, and how social media conglomerates like Facebook are encouraging this type of illegal activity by turning a blind eye in the name of member privacy,” he said.
(Chicago police say suspects accused of selling illegal drugs and guns were “emboldended” by the privacy afforded to them with Facebook groups. Courtesy of AP and YouTube. Posted on Dec 3, 2019.)
The investigation began in December 2017 when an informant told police drugs and weapons were regularly sold on these private groups on Facebook, according to First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio.
The private groups are unsearchable, effectively making them invisible to anyone not invited in, he explained.
“Facebook claims to monitor these groups but CPD detectives have labeled these private hidden sites as a version of the dark web that is more accessible to everyday users,” Riccio said.
For over 2 years, #ChicagoPolice Organized Crime Units hv been going digitally undercover posing as criminals to buy illegal guns & drugs sold on Facebook. Today we bring you the latest results of Operation FaceBOOKED as 53 people have been arrested. 1030a press conf @ CPD HQ pic.twitter.com/gcKuwEjuYL
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) December 3, 2019
Sixty-five people were targeted and identified in the operation, and of those, 53 are in custody and two have active arrest warrants as a result of the investigation.
Police recovered seven weapons — four handguns, two shotguns and a high-powered rifle — totaling about $4,100 and 23 types of narcotics totaling about $105,000, Riccio said.
Facebook says on its site that the sale or trade of firearms between individuals is not allowed.
“Illicit drug and firearms sales have no place on our platform. We remove content and accounts that violate our policy and catch over 97% of drug sale content and over 93% of the firearms sales content we remove before it is reported to us,” said Sarah Pollack, a Facebook spokeswoman.
Continue reading… Chicago Police infiltrated secret online groups selling guns and drugs in ‘Operation FaceBOOKED’
AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:
- Provides named sources
- Reported by more than one notable outlet
- Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos