Once again, the information posted on social networking sites like MySpace, FaceBook and Friendster continues to aid law enforcement officials and investigators.
The following Star News article details how an investigation that resulted from information and pictures that were posted in an online social network led to the confiscation of over 2,000 marijuana plants.
Even more interesting, however, is the fact that Sheriff Bruce Anderson then goes on to warn parents on the dangers of allowing juveniles to publish too much personal information on social networking sites. It is precisely this type of posted personal information that led to the drug bust in the first place. This was probably the wrong article for him to talk on the dangers of social networking sites.
Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department destroyed more than 2,000 marijuana plants as a result of an investigation that rose out of information gathered from a social networking Web site.
According to Sheriff Bruce Anderson, the department’s gang and drug task force gathered enough information off the Web site to execute a warrant at a Zimmerman residence. On the Web site, a juvenile girl indicated there was marijuana growing at her house. When agents from the task force and Drug Enforcement Agency responded to the residence, they found approximately 2,000 marijuana plants growing on the property. The plants were removed and then destroyed. The investigation surrounding the marijuana continues.
Following the incident, Anderson urged parents to be diligent in monitoring the online activities of their children. “The juvenile in question made no attempt to be secretive about the marijuana. In fact, she had a picture of herself holding marijuana posted to her personal page online,” he said.
Anderson encouraged residents to familiarize themselves with social networking Web sites and to limit the amount of personal information listed on the sites. An online search using the term “online safety teens parents” resulted in numerous options for parents to gather additional information. One such site parents can visit is www.onguardonline.gov/socialnetworking_youth.html.