By Jim Hagerty
FREEPORT — A Freeport man wanted on an outstanding warrant was arrested this week while streaming on Facebook Live.
Freeport Police were monitoring Facebook Monday, Jan. 8, when they came across a live video featuring 18-year-old Jalen Anderson, the Freeport Journal Standard reported.
Police say they also noticed what appeared to be a loaded gun and drugs and learned Anderson was wanted for armed robbery in Cook County. That’s when they tracked his location and drove to the 2500 block of Stephenson Circle.
When detectives arrived at his apartment, Anderson was still livestreaming. Investigators then executed a search warrant and uncovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun and pills believed to be the anxiety medication Alprazolam.
Anderson was charged with illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a control substance with the intent to deliver.
Freeport Police Lt. Andrew Schroeder said his department routinely monitors social media, using anything they can following up on everything they find. Police can also track smartphones, access social media accounts and triangulate investigations using everyday devices of their own. And the efforts are spread over wide online spectrum.
“It’s not just Facebook, but Twitter, YouTube and all kinds of things we’re monitoring for illegal activity,” he said.
Monday’s arrest is part of a growing number of similar cases involving social media. In 2016, two Springfield men were charged with a host of crimes when a video of them allegedly damaging a police vehicle was posted online. Earlier this month, Cook County prosecutors charged a 23-year-old man with more than 24 felonies after police used information gleaned from Facebook to bust a drug- and gun-running ring. R.