Federal agents say members of the Hispanic street gang here are using the online social networking Web site MySpace.com to make threats and find a former member so they can kill him. It's common for street gangs to use the Internet to tout their criminal enterprises. They often post pictures of members displaying gang-related hand signs.
But now it appears they are also using social networking sites to cyberstalk potential threats.
According to a documents filed in D.C. federal court, a former MS-13 gang member is a witness to a D.C. homicide and was moved to North Carolina to prevent the violent gang from finding him.
But in April 2010, the witness got into a fight with his girlfriend, who also was a MS-13 member, and she returned to D.C. and told the gang that her former boyfriend was cooperating with law enforcement, documents said.
In June, the witness said that his ex-girlfriend had posted a cryptic message on his MySpace.com page calling an unspecified individual a "rat" that liked to "eat cheese."
The communication was posted a month after the witness was ordered to be deported to Guatemala, where the El Salvador-based gang has a strong presence, documents said. The message indicates that gang members would be sent from El Salvador to Guatemala to find and kill the "rat", documents said.
On Dec. 22, during a MS-13 gang meeting in Maryland, a MS-13 gang leader announced that the witness was being targeted for execution and that the gang was using the ex-girlfriend's MySpace.com account to send him messages, federal agents said.
According to the documents, the agents informed the witness about the meeting and he confirmed that the ex-girlfriend has contacted him. Authorities believe the gang was using the ex-girlfriend's account to try to lure him back to the gang to assassinate him.