WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The FBI, in cooperation with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), has posted "wanted signs" on digital billboards in several states to assist its manhunt for the latest addition to the Top 10 Most Wanted list, Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias.
The messages on the electronic signs, in both English and Spanish, are being posted free of charge as a public service by out of home (OOH) advertising companies in California, Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas.
Advertisers routinely donate space on digital billboards to assist the public and government agencies. To date, 51 FBI fugitives have been apprehended as a direct result of digital billboard publicity. The out of home industry's partnership with the FBI started in Philadelphia in 2007, when a graduate of an FBI Citizens Academy suggested putting fugitives' pictures on donated digital billboards. Digital billboards have also been used, free-of-charge, by federal emergency managers during outbreaks of severe weather, most recently Superstorm Sandy.
"The goal is to empower the public to help law enforcement," said Nancy Fletcher, president and CEO of OAAA. "Putting Most Wanted fugitives on digital billboards is a modern, high-tech version of the old wanted poster."
Gracias is a suspect in the brutal 2011 murder in Colorado of Richard Limon, a 63-year-old Denver man, whose body was found stabbed to death near Golden. Authorities believe that Rivera Gracias, 28, is affiliated with the violent Mara Salvatrucha 13 street gang and has "MS-13" tattooed across his back. MS-13 is based in El Salvador and Los Angeles.
OAAA is the national trade association for the out of home (OOH) advertising industry. Founded in 1891, the association represents more than 90 percent of the US industry based on revenues. OAAA is dedicated to leading and uniting a responsible OOH industry committed to serving advertisers, consumers, and communities. The OOH industry generates $6.7 billion annually in ad revenues and donates more than $450 million in space each year. For more information, please visit www.oaaa.org.
SOURCE Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA)