Online activity is helping the FBI take down gang members and rappers. Social media posts led to the recent arrests of five alleged members of Chicago’s notorious O-Block Gang for the execution-style murder of hip-hop artist FBG Duck in 2020.
The man behind the bust was FBI agent Emmerson Buie, Jr, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago field office of the FBI. According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s section chief of the FBI’s cyber division.
Carlton Weekly, known as “FBG Duck,” was 26 when he was gunned down in broad daylight on Aug. 4, 2020.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Charles “C Murda” Liggins, Kenneth “Kenny” Roberson, Tacarlos “Los” Offerd, Christopher “C Thang” Thomas and Marcus “Muwop” Smart are each charged with committing murder in aid of racketeering, WTTW reported.
The FBI’s Chicago office under Buie gathered evidence against those arrested through their social media posts.
“If this gives pause — even one minute of pause to somebody who might think it’s a cool thing to do, to get on video, to bring out some guns, to talk about how I’m gonna shoot somebody — if this gives pause to them, then we’re doing something good,” U.S. Attorney John Lausch said during a press conference. “We’re doing a lot good, and we’re gonna continue to do more of this.”
Increasingly, the FBI is using social media as an investigative tool. FBI records indicate a growing focus on harnessing the latest private-sector tools for mass surveillance, including signing contracts with companies that monitor social media posts and collect cellphone location data, The Intercept reported.
The Breakfast Club co-host Charlamagne Tha God warned people against posting about their crimes online.
“Why oh why do you rappers get online and tell yourself, okay? Your uncle Charlemagne has been getting on this radio for years telling you to cut that out,” he said on the radio show on Oct. 14.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy when y’all do,” Charlamagne continued. “Because you make law enforcement’s job so easy, and I want that criminal element off the street as well. But what part of your brain makes you think that’s OK? I’ve been on this radio for years telling you that what you do online will get you jammed up offline –FBI stands for Facebook and Instagram.”
Charlamagne had more advice for rappers and their use of social media.
“All you rappers who get on these social media platforms and talk about your opps you done killed, the feds are listening, they’re watching,” he said. “All you rappers who get on these social media platforms and talk about smoking your opps smoking your ops pack or whatever the hell y’all young boys say — in the words of Charles Barkley — ‘I guarantee, I guarantee’ you going to prison.”
Buie was named special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI field office in 2019. Before this, he served as the special agent in charge of the El Paso field office in Texas. He joined the FBI in 1992, and has since been stationed at several bureaus, including in London in 2006, where he was the assistant legal attaché and acting deputy legal attaché. While overseas, he served as the primary point of contact for coordinating the FBI’s participation in several international counterterrorism and anti-organized crime agencies, according to an FBI press release.
Before joining the FBI, Buie, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, served in the U.S. Army for four years as an infantry officer and served in Desert Storm. He was awarded a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry badge, and multiple accommodations and awards.
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