When my team of fugitive hunters is on the case, we have to be able to make use of every resource available to us. Informants play a huge role in identifying and arresting suspects, but they are only effective in certain instances. We were in the middle of a cold case that involved a violent gang member, and no one was willing to talk for fear they or their families would be in harm’s way.
When you are hunting a fugitive that appears to have fallen off the map, you have to be willing to collect evidence in any way possible. One thing that I know for sure in all my years in law enforcement is that criminals simply will talk if given enough time. Many love to talk about their crimes because they want others to know about how successful they were in getting away with something, otherwise there is no thrill keeping it all to yourself.
One a trip to the local prison, we decided to see if any of the gang members were willing to offer up information about our suspect. I knew that Securus Technologies had installed a call monitoring system in that facility, so even if the inmates didn’t talk to me, we knew they would eventually talk to someone. My presence acted like the catalyst, and it didn’t take long for a few of the low-ranking gang members who are not that disciplined, to start talking on the phones.
One new member to the gang was complaining on the phone that this fugitive was getting all the attention for a crime that he felt was weak. he went into details that he actually helped our fugitive in a number of crimes, and he got busted while the fugitive got away free and got all the notoriety. That call helped us connect the dots and arrest our suspect.