In October, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly publicly announced that he was doubling the size of the Department’s Anti-Gang Unit and would be stepping up efforts to bust gangsters using social media websites like Facebook and Twitter — where gangsters have recently taken their turf wars.
New York City’s gangsters must not read the papers — 10 more alleged thugs got popped recently, much thanks to their social media stupidity.
According to the NYPD, 10 leaders of the “violent, drug dealing” street gang “WTG” were indicted yesterday on six counts of conspiracy to commit murder, assault, weapons possession and sales, and narcotics possession, as well as 35 related substantive counts.
Many of those indictments were aided by law enforcement’s ability to crack the gangsters’ social media codes.
From the NYPD:
WTG’s leadership made extensive use of social media and developed a distinctive “lingo,” or system of code words and phrases, to communicate with one another about their criminal activity in thousands of exchanges on Facebook. During the investigation, Special Narcotics prosecutors and analysts, and members of the NYPD, reviewed of Facebook messages from January 2011 to the present, as well as additional images and messages on Instagram. Facebook and Instagram messages and photos were obtained through court authorized search warrants.
“DubbTee” refers to a member of WTG, while “Fake Dub” describes members of the rival Dub City gang. Shootings, drug sales and firearms were routinely discussed in WTG leaders’ Facebook messages. “Grip,” “glocc,” “swammy,” “slammer,” and “hammer” are all terms WTG members used to refer to firearms, while “floced” or “clapped” referred to a shooting. “Krills,” “grams,” “yams,” and “grizz” are terms used for narcotics.
Facebook also served as a primary means of gang recruitment. Messages and other intelligence reveal that WTG leadership required prospective gang members to provide money for the purchase of communal firearms, or to provide an actual firearm, in order to gain admission to the gang. New gang members were then placed “under” a leader, to whom they answered. WTG maintained readily available, loaded communal firearms for use by members. Gang leaders directed minors aged 14 and 15 to possess, transport and store the guns in order to avoid the arrest or detection of adult gang members.
In a May 2012 Facebook message, SHAQUILLE HOLDER, “aka Boogz,” wrote to another prospective WTG, saying, “If yuk an western union me 125 right now you can be WTG under me and b official.” That same month, HOLDER received a Facebook message from an individual seeking to help another individual become a member of WTG. “My manzz want to be Dub Tee under u,” the message said, to which HOLDER replied, “Gotta send n glocc or 200 cash and mac wich ya guyuzz.”
In a March 2011 Facebook message, RONALD DAVIS, aka “Ron G,” directed a prospective WTG member, “Yo bro, I want u to be WTG but u gotta put up chipz on da glock dun u my bro,” adding, “100” when asked how much. A prospective gang member asked, “You gonna turn me dub tee or when I pay for the gun?” and DAVIS responded, “Friday but if u dnt give me dat den ugonna get parked. Parked = droped from WTG Imma teach u the lingo.” HOLDER, WILLIAMS and DAVIS face Criminal Solicitation charges in connection with these recruiting activities.
Earlier this year, we consulted our go-to gang source (a 20-year-old “Crip” who happens to live next door to us) in regards to the recent spike in social media thuggery.
“[That’s not] how real gangsters do shit,” he assured us. “They put that shit up there [on Facebook] like they don’t know the cops is readin’ it. That’s dumb shit — amateur shit. That’s how niggaz end up in jail.”
Our source has been shot four times — including one shooting incident that involved him shooting himself in the leg (he happened to be sitting on our couch at the time, as evident from the bullet hole in our faux-leather sofa).
As he puts it, he and his homeboys are “for real gangster.”
“These fake-ass gangsters don’t know what they’re doing, son,” he continues. “The reason gangs survive is by not letting the cops know we is doin’ shit. We don’t do none of that Facebook shit and if you do an ‘OG’ is gonna let you know about it.”
Moral of the story: gang business has no business on Facebook.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2012