The New York Police Department has just charged 10 members of the Bronx "280" gang with conspiracy murder charges. A key element of the operation was accomplished using social media to track and prosecute the alleged culprits, Gothamist reports. The police had seen gang members posting pictures of new cars and stacks of cash online. NYPD also intercepted texts from various gang members.
The charges come at the end of a crackdown by the police on gangs referred to as Operation Crew Cut, centered around shootings in the Bronx's 44th Precinct. According to the NYPD, the arrests include top-ranking members including "gang leader Diamond Brown, aka 'Debo', aka 'Bo Gotti,' and top lieutenants Jesus Perez, aka 'Juice Bambino,' and Guess Carter, aka 'Guess Loc.'" Police have said that "280" and other warring gangs were behind incidents in which 43 individuals were shot.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan issued the following statement about the violence the gang had caused:
"Reckless, wanton shootings detailed in the indictment forced innocent bystanders to take cover and neighborhoods to conduct daily business in great fear for their safety and security. Targeting drug gangs involved in violence has significantly diminished shootings in these neighborhoods."
The crackdown marks another victory for the NYPD, who say that Operation Crew Cut has resulted in a drop in shootings over the last few years from 51 in 2011 to 34 in last year.