Livingston Parish Sheriff: Social media plays huge role in rounding up criminals

POSTED: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 7:34pm

Millions use social media, whether it's Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. But sometimes what goes up on these sites can come help law enforcement find you, without you even realizing it.

More than a dozen people were arrested in Livingston Parish as part of “Operation I Got Your Valentine.” Sheriff Jason Ard told NBC33 News all of the suspects who were arrested were selling prescription medications.

Livingston Parish undercover deputies worked for over six months to find those suspects. And Sheriff Ard says one of the major tools is developing these cases, was social media.

"You have to make sure the information you’re receiving though social media is accurate and correct that's what you have to be carful of," says Livingston Sheriff, Jason Ard.

Livingston Parish Sheriffs Office has been turning to social media networking sites in all parts of their job especially to help catch the criminals.

"Social media has become that of a valuable tool to law enforcement but it also became a headache for law enforcement," noted Sheriff Ard.

Because there are so many outlets when it comes to social media, they try and use the information they know are facts and then connect it with what they discover online.

"But it does help in criminal cases. It helps us gather evidence helps us to connect friends and sometimes we can even find out where someone is at a certain time because they may have logged in where they are at," says Sheriff Ard.

And by using these tools, the undercover deputies can develop friendships as well, which will hopefully lead to a case, and then an arrest.

"The more we get familiar with it the more within law enforcement know how to utilize it and which ways it can help us and I think it helps out a lot," says Sheriff Ard.

Sheriff Ard says he expects more arrests in the roundup that began Thursday. There's no word on how much of a role social media will play in finding suspects.
 

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