Italian authorities monitored a fugitive’s profile on the social networking site to track his movements, finally leading to his arrest, The Guardian reports.A Sicilian drug dealer, Michele Grasso, was wanted for drug dealing in 2008, but he vanished from his hometown before the authorities could nab him and went off the grid for four years (Facebook listed his address as ‘Alcatraz’).
In 2011, Grasso was sentenced in his absence to five years in prison and a €24,000 ($31,608) fine for drug dealing by a Sicilian court, according to La Repubblica.
But he would have never been caught if it wasn’t for his own cockiness — or stupidity. Last week, Grasso, 27, posted photos of himself having a good time in London: posing with the statues of Obama, Tom Cruise, and David Beckham; smoking a cigarette next to a snowman; and making trips to tourist attractions like the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Oxford Circus, among others. The album’s title? ‘Christmas in London’.
He also posted photos of himself with his arm around a woman, in the album ‘My 24th birthday (in London)’. But the photos that finally led to his downfall were those he took of himself working in the kitchen of a pizzeria in Woodford Green, northeast of London. For good measure, he even added external shots of the restaurant, which clearly showed its name.
Italian police contacted Interpol and their British counterparts to request Grasso’s arrest and extradition. He was finally arrested in ‘Operation Big Ben’ and flown back to Italy under police escort, and is now in prison in Rome, The Telegraph reports. Looks like that’s one group that won’t complain about Facebook’s privacy policies.
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