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Sheriff Uses Cyber Laws to Target Gang Activity

Sheriff Uses Cyber Laws to Target Gang Activity

The Orlando Sentinal via YellowBrix

October 13, 2010

WINTER HAVEN, FL – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday the arrest of seven suspects connected to the production of music videos and Web pages that the Sheriff’s Office says promoted gang activity and, in one instance, depicted dog fighting.

Charges include unlawful use of electronic communications, recruiting gang membership and fighting or baiting animals.

All charges are third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

“This is the first arrest of its kind in Polk County, and among the first in Florida,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a press release announcing the arrests. “Working with the State Attorney’s Office, we are sending a clear message to the gang bangers, if you try to further gang interests or advertise gang presence, or intimidate or harass anyone in Polk County using the Internet, or any other electronic communications medium, we will arrest you, and you will go to jail.”

The Sheriff’s Office’s Gang Unit developed information regarding a Internet-posted video that contained images of criminal gang promotion within Polk County. The images featured suspects displaying gang colors, tattoos and signs. During the course of their investigation, detectives discovered multiple music videos and images on websites such as YouTube and MySpace.

Detectives arrested and charged four men with unlawful use of electronic communications and recruiting gang membership in connection with the videos. They are Santana Perez, 24, of 105 Center St., Winter Haven; Domingo Garza, 25, of 111 Garza Lane, Winter Haven; Daniel Barajas, 28, of 2554 State Road 542 W., Auburndale; and Alberto Macedo, 24, who has no known address.

In one video, entitled “I’m Back,” suspects can be seen at a makeshift dog-fighting arena, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. Participants around the arena display money as they visually encourage the dogs to fight. Later in the video, Perez is seen standing inside an above-ground swimming pool with two Hispanic male subjects holding pit bull dogs on heavy-gauge chains. As Perez performs his music, the dogs are provoked to simulate a dog fight.

As a result of this video, three additional suspects were charged with fighting or baiting animals. They are Joshua Castillo Perez, 22, of 260 W. Hampton St., Eagle Lake; Mantana Martinez, 20, of 4026 Lake Buffum Road, Lake Wales; and Oscar Martinez, 26, of 504 S. Fourth St., Apt. 5E, Lake Wales.

The report cites other examples of videos, produced by the four alleged gang members, where gang affiliation is displayed. The displays include hand gestures, tattoos and bandanas. In addition, detectives found MySpace pages maintained by some of the suspects that feature the videos along with other gang-related information.


+14
  • Robin-hood-cres_max50

    Mick2me

    about 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    Ha! Nice one. More than one way to skin a cat.
    Like Al Capone, dont forget their sales taxes... Call the IRS

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BForJuvCor

    almost 4 years ago

    846 Comments

    Thank god for that. Now can we castrate them to prevent further breeding?

  • 1393794_10151798561878138_392793313_n_max50

    Blueblood1974

    almost 4 years ago

    5204 Comments

    Great!

  • Flags_and_stars_max50

    djs2v

    almost 4 years ago

    5628 Comments

    Outstanding!!!

  • Rosa_max50

    hotmomperez03

    almost 4 years ago

    1898 Comments

    excellent,,excellent,,

  • Stmaarten2_max50

    bumperdog831

    almost 4 years ago

    264 Comments

    hhahaha nice job!!!! give it to em good!!!!

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    almost 4 years ago

    19382 Comments

    Excellent. Their IPAD app was a dead give-a-way.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    GREAT POLICE WORK

  • 70748_max50

    Stealth4387

    almost 4 years ago

    188 Comments

    Nice!

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    almost 4 years ago

    23592 Comments

    What ever works well to get these lowlifes off of the streets is a good thing. Keep up the good police work.

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    almost 4 years ago

    10984 Comments

    It's good that we are finding other ways to get this idots off the streets. Nice work.

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