DoJ: Leader of Teenage Drug Smuggling Ring Pleads Guilty; Used Facebook to Coordinate Drug Trafficking

Wow. Department of Justice press release: Leader of Teenage Drug Smuggling Ring Pleads Guilty; Used Facebook to Coordinate Drug Trafficking. “Roberto Torres Jr., 22, pleaded guilty in federal court today to leading a drug smuggling ring that used young adults and teenagers to smuggle vast quantities of methamphetamine into the United States. Torres, a U.S. citizen, admitted that he and his co-conspirators recruited dozens of minors, some as young as 15 years old, from Imperial Valley, California high schools and elsewhere to transport narcotics from Mexico into the United States. Torres used Facebook, the social networking platform, to coordinate the drug trafficking activity with his young smugglers. “

The Guardian: Wildlife smugglers using Facebook to sell ivory and rhino horn

Facebook: it’s a mess. From The Guardian: Wildlife smugglers using Facebook to sell ivory and rhino horn. “Wildlife traffickers from a small, sleepy village in Vietnam are using Facebook to offload large amounts of illegal ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts, an investigation has revealed. The results of an 18-month sting by the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) – shared with the Guardian – will be presented at a public hearing on 14 and 15 November at the Peace Palace in the Hague. They will show how social media sites such as Facebook are allowing traders greater access to customers.” And may I remind you again: Facebook had $23 billion in cash reserves as of July. There is money to fix this.

New Database Tracks Worldwide Illegal Trade in Great Apes

A new database tracks illegal trade in great apes going back to 2005. “A new database suggests say there has been a dramatic under-reporting of the live, illegal trade in great apes. Around 1,800 orangutans, chimpanzees and gorillas were seized in 23 different countries since 2005, the figures show. Since 90% of the cases were within national borders they didn’t appear in major data records, which only contain international seizures.”