Thursday, March 25, 2010

Using Facebook to track down fugitives:

I wasn’t sure if using Facebook to track down fugitives was possible. Having lots of free time, I decided to perform a little social networking experiment to see if this sort of skip tracing was feasible. My results were not all that surprising.

Several years ago, one of the local dope fiends was caught trying to hide in a travel trailer in my backyard. He found himself getting arrested by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office on a felony warrant for dangerous drugs. I’ll never forget him crying for “his daddy” to come get him out of jail. He was 26 years old at the time.

This subject’s name is Lawrence Harry Jones III. It appears that he ended up on probation and as in so many cases, decided to skip town, thus violating the terms and conditions of his probation. Until a couple of weeks ago, his sister lived right across the street from me. It appears that they suddenly vacated their home.

I visited Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s website and discovered a “fugitive finder” link. I began to enter names of various and sundry low-life type people that I have crossed paths with in the past. I got a hit when I entered Lawrence Jones’ name. I was really surprised to get just two hits with a name like Jones.

Go Ahead! Enter the names of your family, friends and neighbors:

Hint: For a quick search, type in a last name and click "Search for Warrant". No other input is required, but more specific information returns the fewest results.

Caution: While we make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of our web based arrest warrants, there is no cause for arrest based on information found here. In ALL cases, warrants must be confirmed with the originating agency AND the issuing court prior to attempting arrest. While warrants are issued, cleared or quashed hourly, it is not possible to ensure all data is current.

Lawrence is a.k.a. "LJ". His parents, Valerie and Larry, have gone out of their way to hide and protect their dope fiend son despite the threat to public safety this potentially presents. He appears to have a new baby (Lawrence Jones IV) and perhaps a common law wife or girlfriend, Teresa Vaughn. Valerie, an avid FarmVille player, was posting recent pictures of him on her Facebook page.

Case History:

Teresa Vaughn’s face book page confirms that she is the mother of two of LJ’s children. I bet she will be extremely easy to find. It's possible that Teresa attended or attends Morehead State University. She’s also a fan of Expressions Salon, 111 West Main Street, Morehead KY 40351 (606)780-HAIR

This may or may not be a coincidence, but Teresa and some of the other family members are now hiding more of her Facebook information. Perhaps, the State of Kentucky actually acted on some of those emails I sent. I think it would be funny if the police would unexpectedly show up and knock on some doors.

The other oddity I came across during my research was that it appears the many of these “relatives” are related in what may be unusual ways. For some reason, I’m thinking of the movie, “Deliverance”. What would you think if a sibling was having a brother’s child? Maybe it was just a typo, incorrect or intentionally misleading profile entry? Enough said on that.

Having known LJ for a few years, I'm reasonably sure he's still cooking meth. I'm hopeful that his new baby is not being exposed to the dangerous and toxic chemicals associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

As the mobster, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano once said, “A leopard never changes its’ spots.”

Shortly before Christmas LJ’s mother, Valerie Jones, posted this on Facebook: “We are home! Had a nice time with LJ and Teresa(Vaughn?) and babies. But there is no place like home.”

She recently(early December) visited the fugitive in question and provided investigative leads including photographs of the home where LJ lives via her photo album. Wasn’t that nice of her? I’m sure the police might find the photographs useful.

It’s funny, but LJ’s own mother provided enough information to figure out where this alleged no bond felony fugitive is more than likely located. I was really surprised because much of her information is hidden. It just goes to show that people can’t keep anything under their hats.

Based on Valerie’s photographs, she found her way to New Haven, KY. Nobody travels from Arizona to Kentucky just to look at trains.

In getting back to my little experiment, I found that it’s entirely possible to track down criminal elements that would prefer to stay off the grid using a social networking site like Facebook. This proves how difficult it is to disappear in this day and age. Grandparents just love showing off the grandchildren of their fugitive offspring.

On a final note, I would like to comment on the recent politically motivated criticism the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is receiving regarding their failure to close out thousands of outstanding felony warrants. As I was already well aware, most of these fugitives are not sitting somewhere in Maricopa County patiently waiting to get picked up. I spent close to three hours researching Mr. Jones. Multiply that by the thousands of existing warrants and you will see that locating and arresting these people is a gargantuan task.

Even if a fugitive is apprehended in another state, that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she will be extradited back to face the music in the jurisdiction the warrant was issued. Many times, these suspects are released and the warrant remains open.

Instead of condemning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, we should volunteer a little time and help out. Anyone with a computer can track down fugitives. Cleaning up American streets should be the job of each and every citizen.

“You have been tried by twelve good men and true, not of your peers but as high above you as heaven is of hell, and they have said you are guilty.”
--Judge Roy Bean

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