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JSO uses rap videos to arrest 6 felons, alleged gang members

Sheriff Mike Williams says gang threats on social media is the 'gang graffiti of the 1980s'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is continuing their crackdown on street gangs and is turning to a new tool to do so.

Dubbed 'Operation Rap Up,' Sheriff Mike Williams, along with Mayor Lenny Curry and State Attorney Melissa Nelson, announced the arrest of six men for being convicted felons in possession of firearms. 

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JSO is implementing a new strategy, involving social media, to crack down on these local felons possessing firearms. 

While social media has brought upon a lot of good to our ever-connected society, Williams says it's not all good. 

"Advances in technology also provide the criminal element and new platform to promote their trade in the street culture market," he said. 

A useful tool of the gang trade is Youtube and music videos. Williams said music videos are used to spread threats of violence from one gang to another.

"These videos typically glorify drug use," Williams said. "They celebrate a culture of violence and are often intended to intimidate or threaten rival groups of gangs."

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"These videos typically glorify drug use," Williams said. "They celebrate a culture of violence and are often intended to intimidate or threaten rival groups of gangs."

Williams calls gang music videos the "gang graffiti of the 1980s." 

RELATED: Jacksonville's burgeoning rap scene tells a tale of poverty, gangs, guns and glory

Williams says gang intimidation in music videos sometimes leads to gang retaliation from the opposition. The retaliation comes in the form of drive-by shootings, he added. 

With the help of social media, Williams said nine convicted felons have been identified. Six have been arrested and three are still wanted. 

The six arrested have been identified as: 

  • Ronnie Myrick, 26 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Nicholas Parker, 28 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Bryan Smith, 18 - Possession of Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent found to have Committed a Felony Act
  • Christopher Parker, 29 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Tyler Simmons, 18 - Possession of Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent found to have Committed a Felony Act
  • Tyler Jackson, 20 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

The three still wanted: 

  • Breion Dubois, 28 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Dujuane Hayden, 26 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Keith Rivers, 28 - Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon

JSO released a board with screenshots of each of the individual as they appear in music videos.

Credit: JSO

JSO says Dujuane Hayden, the wanted 26-year-old, appears in this music video they clipped: 

*WARNING* audio and visual content may be disturbing to some

When asked how JSO will prove the guns shown in the videos are real, Williams said they're prepared. 

"So there's a lot of steps we'll take with experts and other things in court to do that, but obviously we feel strongly we're on the right track with the right people," he said. 

Williams said JSO won't identify the gangs involved to avoid giving them recognition. 

If you have any information that could assist JSO in the arrest of the three individuals still wanted, you are urged to contact them at 904-630-0500.