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US police use Facebook to track down drug dealer

A DRUG dealer who evaded US authorities is facing 105 years in jail after police used Facebook to track him down in Britain.

Emmanuel Ganpot was due to be sentenced in Florida in 2003 but instead fled his million-dollar bail and went to the UK.

Police eventually traced him to Oxted, Surrey, using social networking websites.

Ganpot, 36, was convicted after he hired two “mules” to carry cocaine and 3,500 ecstasy tablets worth £22,000 (€25,000).

He was arrested in his car in Florida, where officers found a stash of narcotics and $22,000 in used bills, The Sun reported.

Ganpot faced a minimum of 15 years in prison for the offences.

According to US reports, Ganpot’s co-defendant, Jose Negron, was convicted and sentenced to 25 years.

The drugs baron was given three weeks to get his affairs in order by a judge in Florida ahead of his sentencing. But he used this time to fly to Britain where his French mother lived.

Once in the UK Ganpot changed his name by deed poll to Neo Masuro, obtained a British passport and set up home in Surrey.

Under his adopted identity, Ganpot immersed himself in the local community — he coached a football team, drummed in a band and worked with disabled children.

But he was finally caught when he set up Facebook and MySpace pages under his new name.

Bounty hunter Bill Burgess tracked him down by visiting internet sites belonging to Ganpot’s friends.

Multiple references to a “Neo” aroused his suspicions.

These were confirmed when Burgess discovered a photograph showing Neo — whom he identified as Ganpot — blowing a kiss.

He was traced to Oxted where he was arrested and sent back to the US.

Judge Deanna Farnell said she would sentence the drug dealer on May 13.

He faces a maximum term of 105 years for the original offences and law evasion.


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