Chicago police said Thursday they have recently arrested 50 people for allegedly trafficking narcotics and guns on Facebook through “secret groups.”
Law enforcement officials in the city said they are collaborating with the social media giant to try to weed out any illicit activities on the platform and identify the perpetrators, reports Reuters. Originally, however, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson criticized Facebook for what he and others saw as a lack of cooperation.
“Quite frankly, they haven’t been very friendly to law enforcement to prevent these things,” Johnson said during a press conference, according to Reuters.
The authorities believe there are “dozens and dozens” more private Facebook groups that were created for the sole purpose of distributing, exchanging, and purveying guns and narcotics.
An elementary school teacher was arrested in the operation, and when detained was found to be in possession of scales, something Anthony Riccio, chief of the organized crime unit in the Chicago police department, said could be a good sign he was weighing drugs.
One illegal sale of drugs was advertised as a “Thanksgiving special,” according to Reuters, in which cocaine was offered for $40, down from the purportedly usual $60 price for the unknown amount.
Usually, such unlawful offerings are made on the dark web, the general term for the illegitimate virtual black market.
The primary way investigators were able to nab some of the alleged criminals was by creating alternative identities and then earning the trust of administrators of “secret groups” who decide who can be invited. After infiltrating the illicit clubs, authorities would personally reach out to individual users to make a purchase, and then subsequently build a case against them. (RELATED: Chicago Man With Concealed-Carry Permit Shoots, Kills Armed Robber)
Facebook did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for further details in time of publication.
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