Use of Twitter, Facebook rising among gang members

February 2, 2010 7:44:45 AM PST
Gangs are tumbling to modern communication methods like twitter, but unbeknownst to them, tweeting members may actually be singing like birds to attentive authorities. Tech-savvy gangsters have long been at home in chatrooms and on Web sites but they appear to be gravitating toward Twitter and Facebook, where they can make threats, boast about crimes and share intelligence.

Law enforcement officials say gang members sometimes post information that helps agents identify gang associates and learn more about their organizations.

Dean Johnston with the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement says social networking helps build "this little tree of people."

In one California gang case much of the information gathered by investigators came from members' Facebook accounts. Authorities expect to make arrests in the coming months.