ONLY ON KOLD: Cartels on social media - CBS46 News

ONLY ON KOLD: Cartels on social media

Posted: Updated:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Chances are you have a Facebook page to connect with friends and loved ones.

You might be surprised to know drug cartels have pages as well and are using social media to expand their drug empires.

Their goal? To attract young recruits.

"They play to their greed, they play to their desires of making a lot of money," said DEA special agent Ramona Sanchez.

She said it's a campaign with big guns, big crews and lost of money.

"Boasting the criminal skills and the criminal possessions."

We found a Twitter account belonging to a man with ties to drug lord Joaqin El Chapo Guzman. It has pictures of tricked out trucks and even a pet lion.

Sanchez says there's also a fear factor: Videos on YouTube of masked men terrorizing rival gang members and a snapshot of an alleged hitman with a blind-folded hostage.

"They want to put that thought that they're untouchable, far from the hands, the reach of law enforcement."

Cartels will also use the Web to show their softer side.

"Even if we're holding arms up there, that doesn't make us bad people." One YouTube video claims to show one cartel delivering disaster aid to an area hit by Hurricane Ingrid.

"it goes back to the days of Pablo Escobar who was considered the robin hood of Colombia.  he provided all these drugs worldwide, he got very rich, but he also bought elementary schools for the kids."

Sanchez says the DEA is watching this type of online activity to track cyber crime.

"That is the future. That's evolving. It's not the investigations where you meet someone on Main Street in Tucson, Arizona and there's going to be a transaction or exchange."

She says it led to last year's takedown of an online market place selling everything from meth to pain killers.

While social media can help the DEA, it's not always reliable because in an online world, any image can be staged and lies can come off as truth.

Copyright 2014 Tucson NewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • Special ReportsMore>>

  • Guatemalan group encourages youth to stay in country

    Guatemalan group encourages youth to stay in country

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:14 AM EDT2014-08-28 05:14:57 GMT
    The journey from Central America to the United States has been made by many people in Guatemala, but that doesn't mean they want to do it. SERES is an organization working to give people the reasons and knowledge to stay in their home communities.More >
    The journey from Central America to the United States has been made by many people in Guatemala, but that doesn't mean they want to do it. SERES is an organization working to give people the reasons and knowledge to stay in their home communities.More >
  • Guatemala: Inside the Border Crisis

    Guatemala: Inside the Border Crisis

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 1:07 AM EDT2014-08-26 05:07:28 GMT
    Those who help migrants in Guatemala say the repatriation flights from the United States have increased from three times a week in 2012 to three times a day now. When it comes to the thousands who leave each year, they say this country can't solve the problem alone.More >
    Those who help migrants in Guatemala say the repatriation flights from the United States have increased from three times a week in 2012 to three times a day now. When it comes to the thousands who leave each year, they say this country can't solve the problem alone.More >
  • ONLY ON KOLD: Crossing the line

    ONLY ON KOLD: Crossing the line

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:19 AM EDT2014-07-30 05:19:04 GMT
    This has exploded into what's arguably the biggest immigration story in the world today and Tucson is right in the middle of it. Som Lisaius reports.More >
    This has exploded into what's arguably the biggest immigration story in the world today and Tucson is right in the middle of it. Som Lisaius reports.More >
Powered by WorldNow
CBS Atlanta
Powered by WorldNow
All content © 2000-2014 WorldNow and WGCL-TV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.