Chicago Police Blame Facebook for Illegal Gun, Drug Sales

Seized firearms
Firearms seized by police
Image: West Midlands Police/Flickr

Police said dealers are “emboldened” by using private groups on the social media site that allow them to limit who sees posts about firearms and drugs for sale.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO — Chicago police say investigators have arrested more than 50 people accused of using private Facebook groups and messages to sell guns or drugs.

The department’s new interim superintendent and other officials also blamed the social media company for complicating such cases by taking down investigators’ fake profiles during a Tuesday press conference announcing results of the two-year investigation.

A message seeking comment from Facebook’s press office was not immediately returned Tuesday. The company’s policies ban fake accounts.

Facebook in 2016 prohibited all private firearms sales on its site or Instagram.

Chicago police, though, said dealers are “emboldened” by using private groups that allow them to limit who sees posts about firearms and drugs for sale.

Officials said the guns sell quickly and it’s difficult to know where they wind up.

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