Crime

Instagram gun posts lead to arrest of Miami-Dade teen

A gun-wielding Chris Gargallo on his Instagram account. Police used the photos as evidence to get a search warrant to raid his Southwest Miami-Dade house.
A gun-wielding Chris Gargallo on his Instagram account. Police used the photos as evidence to get a search warrant to raid his Southwest Miami-Dade house. Miami-Dade Circuit Court file

Though only 16, Chris Gargallo has four convictions on his record — but police say that didn’t stop him from using Instagram to sell drugs and post pics of himself preening with pistols.

Those posts, which included images on Instagram’s Snapchat-like “Stories” and its live-streaming video feature, led police to raid his Southwest Miami-Dade home this month, according to newly filed court documents.

The reputed gang member was arrested after Miami-Dade Schools Police say detectives found drugs, stolen credit cards and a realistic-looking silver BB revolver.

Gargallo, who police link to a gang called the Latin Disciples, is only the latest example of someone arrested after South Florida investigators used Instagram and social media to track their suspected crimes.

The teen with braided hair and a wispy beard was arrested on March 9 and remains in juvenile custody. Prosecutors must now decide if will be charged as an adult, which could be likely given his previous criminal record.

Details of juvenile arrests are generally public if they are accused of felonies. It was unclear if Gargallo had an attorney.

The teen certainly had brushes with the law before, though he had never been charged as an adult. Over the last three years, Gargallo has been arrested six times in the juvenile justice system, three times for car break-ins.

Gargallo was convicted, or adjudicated “delinquent,” on four charges, according to a search warrant filed in court. Details of his sentences remain private.

Investigators in January began monitoring Gargallo’s Instagram account, 38baby_numba4, which had been set to private, according to the warrant by Detective John Messenger.

Because of his felony past, Gargallo was not allowed to carry firearms. But his Instagram posts featured him holding various firearms. In one snapshot, he has a gun pointed at his temple. In another, he holds up two pistols daring anyone to mess with him. “i dare u,” he wrote on the caption, which included a revolver and a laughing face emoji.

And according to a search warrant, Gargallo used Instagram “Stories” feature — like Snapchat, videos and photos disappear soon after someone views them — to peddle illegal Xanax pills.

Video posted on social media shows a spring breaker's attempt to twerk on a Miami Beach Police Department ATV on Sunday.

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