These alleged gang bangers love the social media — and so do the cops and prosecutors who busted them.
East Harlem has been cleared of 63 dangerous gangsters who openly incriminated themselves in slang-filled, misspelled postings on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, officials said today in announcing the takedown of three rival drug and gun rings.
Some of the thugs even posted photos of themselves holding guns, officials said.
“God forgives I don’t … somebody gotta die,” one alleged member of the gang “Air It Out,” posted on Facebook, according to the massive conspiracy indictments unsealed today.
“I’ll give u $300 if u clap a Trill or Whoadey before October,” another alleged Air It Out gangster promised, using the slang for shoot.
The alleged members of “Air It Out,” “True Money Gang–” or “Trillas” and “Whoadey” — 18 of whom remain at large — have collectively notched three murders and some 30 shootings, officials said.
The evidence against them — amassed by the Manhattan DA’s Violent Criminal Enterprise Unit, the NYPD’s Gang Division, and cops from the 23rd and 25th precincts and PSA5 — included dangerous surveillance and gun seizures conducted over the course of three years.
But in gathering much of the evidence, investigators simply peeked into their prey’s online postings — along the way decoding a small dictionary worth of garbled slang.
A “2&5 train” is a .25 caliber gun, according to a two page glossary provided to reporters today.
“Air it,” “dump on,” “pop a bottle” and “play the flute” all mean fire a gun, the list says.
A gun itself can be a “biscuit, a “bitch,” a “blamer,” a “clickety,” a “drum set,” a “flocka,” a “girlfriend,” a “grip,” an “instrument,” a “ratchet,” “little piece of metal,” a “shorty,” a “speaker,” a “toy,” a “utensil,” and, more oddly, a “flamingo” or a “sandwich.”
Cops are “boys,” money is “bread,” a pal is a “cro,” and bullets are “food,” “gas,” “sea shellz,” or “electricity.”
Murder? That’s to “rock to sleep early,” the glossary says.
“There is a lot of social networking and investigation using the Internet that all of us use now in law enforcement,” Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said. “The Internet is our 21st Century crime scene.”
But for all their quirky verbiage, the warring gangs thrust their innocent neighbors into an atmosphere of carnage and fear, Vance told reporters.
“Forced to live among this senseless violence is the silent majority — innocent families who life in fear of getting shot while trying to go about their daily lives,” Vance said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited the NYPD’s attention to violent gang rivalries for the continuing drop in shootings and murders.
“We use social media to document past crimes and intercept new ones being talked about openly by crew members on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,” Kelly added.
But in some instances, the alleged thugs may have hung themselves by an old-fashioned land line.
“I went over there, you know, and played the flute twice,” one perp announced on a pay phone call from a city jail — all of which calls are taped automatically. This perp was no flautist — “play the flute” is more slang for fire a gun, officials said.
The defendants were being arraigned through out the day before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Larry Stephen.