Abduction/Homicide:Courtroom presentations prepared by the ROCIC intelligence research staff greatly assisted the Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office and the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in obtaining a guilty verdict for a defendant accused of kidnapping and murdering his roommate and burying the body in a shallow grave in a nearby jurisdiction. After viewing the evidence, including a crime scene sketch and maps produced by ROCIC, the jury came back with a guilty verdict in less than two hours, including their lunch break. “Our case presentation to the jury was impressive and helped us in securing the conviction,” stated the chief investigator. Assisting in the investigation were partnering ROCIC member agencies–the Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office; the Natchitoches Police Department; the Winn Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office; and the Louisiana State Police.
Missing Person/Homicide:The Kenner, Louisiana, Police Department investigated the disappearance of a local exotic dancer who was last seen in the company of two men. The men were developed into suspects, and one suspect fled to New York. The ROCIC intelligence research staff assisted the Kenner police officers in locating him. Both suspects were arrested after washed-up body parts found on Gulf Coast beaches were identified as the victim. In working the case and preparing for trial, detectives met with ROCIC staff at their headquarters. They produced a timeline of events, crime scene sketches and mapping, cell phone mapping, and photographic enhancements. The prosecutors were highly impressed with the ROCIC products and credited them with obtaining a guilty verdict in the jury trial of one defendant. The trial of the second defendant is scheduled.
Homicide:The ROCIC analytical staff were contacted by the Huntingdon, Tennessee, Police Department to prepare a crime scene drawing and 15 photographic enlargements to be used in court to help convict a defendant of second-degree murder. The defendant was one of three men accused of shooting and killing the host of a Super Bowl party over a minor argument. The police commander said that the conviction would not have been possible without ROCIC’s assistance. The graphics were critical to the successful prosecution.
Robbery:During a meeting in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, a local citizen was beaten and robbed by a male subject who had said he was interested in purchasing the smartphone that the victim had advertised online. The assailant stole the smartphone but did not turn it off. He was tracked to a city near the Kansas border and apprehended. The Washington County, Oklahoma, Sheriff’s Office obtained phone records for the suspect and the victim, then turned those records over to the ROCIC analytical staff. The ROCIC staff produced a dozen cell phone tower maps, two dozen phone toll charts, and a presentation that contained a map for each of the 144 cell phone calls. The suspect quickly confessed to the robbery after being presented the evidence documented by ROCIC. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, with all but one year suspended.
Analytical/Intelligence Research Services
Tractor-Trailer Thefts:The West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office (WCPSO) investigated numerous thefts of 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rigs and other equipment that had occurred not only in its jurisdiction but also in several other parishes and counties in Arkansas and Mississippi. Thirty-seven vehicles and/or pieces of heavy equipment had been stolen in at least three states. Once suspects were developed, the WCPSO contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to run comprehensive reports on the suspects and link them. The ROCIC analytical staff assisted in grouping the suspects together on link charts and establishing a timeline of criminal activity and a location chart. During the two-year investigation, three arrests were made and chop shops in Louisiana and Mississippi were discovered. Several million dollars in heavy equipment was recovered. Federal indictments of all three suspects were handed down. Two of the suspects were sentenced to 120 months in prison and one received probation. Agencies involved in the investigation included the sheriff’s offices in Morehouse Parish, Richland Parish, Madison Parish, Bossier Parish, and East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Washington County, Mississippi; and Desha and Chicot Counties, Arkansas; the police departments in Horn Lake and Jackson, Mississippi; the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; the National Insurance Crime Bureau; and the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Louisiana.
Shooting of a Police Officer:During the foot pursuit of a fleeing suspect following a traffic stop, a Gulfport, Mississippi, Police Department officer was shot twice at close range with a handgun. In spite of his serious wounds, the officer managed to disarm the assailant and restrain him until other officers arrived. Fortunately, the police officer survived the assault. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with the aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. In preparing the case for prosecution, the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office submitted audio and video recordings to the ROCIC audio/video staff for enhancement. As a result, the prosecution built such a strong case that the defendant pled guilty before going to trial. The defendant in this case was sentenced to the maximum term of 30 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Audio/Video/Intelligence Research Services
Drive-by Shooting:The analysis of surveillance videos and mapping of cell phone records by ROCIC, in addition to courtroom testimony by two ROCIC intelligence research staff, was more than enough evidence for a jury in Palm Springs, Florida, to deliberate for three hours and convict a pair of defendants charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder. The judge sentenced the shooter to four life terms in prison. Sentencing for the driver of the suspect’s vehicle is pending. State prosecutors said that the work conducted by ROCIC and the personal testimony of the staff were crucial in obtaining the guilty verdicts. The crime was inexplicable, with no known motive. The gunman had opened fire with an assault rifle from a vehicle on four individuals who were talking outside of a Palm Springs nightclub at closing time. One man was paralyzed and the three others were wounded. In the subsequent investigation, surveillance footage was obtained from a nearby business and records were obtained from the suspects’ cell phones. Analysis of the surveillance footage by the ROCIC audio/video staff positively identified the suspect as the shooter. Cell phone mapping analysis by the ROCIC staff positively linked the suspects to the crime scene.
Drug Trafficking:The Bradford County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office borrowed electronic surveillance equipment from ROCIC to document a months-long investigation into local drug trafficking. The sheriff’s office–a small, rural agency–could not otherwise afford to purchase or use such specialized equipment. As a result of the operation, three drug traffickers were arrested, seven drug cases were cleared, and ten additional suspects were identified. Seized during the operation were 80 grams of marijuana, 7 grams of crack cocaine, one firearm, and $2,320 in cash. The ROCIC equipment was used not only to document undercover narcotics purchases but also to ensure the safety of undercover law enforcement officers. The sheriff noted that his agency also avails itself of the ROCIC intelligence research staff and the intelligence analysts in their aggressive efforts to combat illegal drugs in its rural community.
Drug Trafficking:The Greenwood, Mississippi, Police Department used ROCIC specialized surveillance equipment to observe and document criminal activity at a corner store location in a high-crime district. The month-long undercover operation concluded with three felony drug arrests, ten drug arrests, five warrant arrests, and the seizure of $3,000 of drug money. The targeted location had been a source of constant citizen complaints regarding the selling and use of illegal drugs and alcohol, fighting, and disturbances of the peace. Several citizens have praised the department for its success, accomplished in part by the loan of a great tool from ROCIC.
Drug Trafficking:Using ROCIC covert surveillance equipment, the Marion County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Department and Narcotics Task Force targeted a multicounty group of violent drug traffickers. At its conclusion, eight offenders were arrested on charges ranging from attempted murder to narcotics. During the high-risk execution of the search warrant, investigators seized 13 weapons, $10,000 worth of narcotics, numerous magazines and ammunition, body armor, scales, and drug paraphernalia. The joint operation included the Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Department; the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Fugitive Task Force; the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
Human Trafficking:Audio/video recording devices borrowed from ROCIC assisted the Human Trafficking Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office in documenting criminal activities during sweeps in two separate areas of the state. The Texas legislature has passed newly instituted Penal Code arrest titles that deal specifically with all aspects of these violations. An operation in Cotulla (LaSalle County), Texas, involved the creation of a phony Internet website advertising the services of prostitutes, including underage girls (younger than 17), at local motels. At no time did anyone underage actually participate in the sting operation, and no actual sexual contact was ever made. A similar sting operation was then conducted in the Austin, Texas, area using the equipment. Overall, 13 individuals were arrested for felonies, and 4 outstanding felony warrants were cleared. The chief of the Human Trafficking Unit noted the effectiveness of ROCIC/RISS resources, which he said he uses as often as possible.
Human Trafficking:Borrowing ROCIC audio/video surveillance and recording equipment, the Harris County, Sheriff’s Office in Houston, Texas, conducted a multiweek sting operation as part of the National Johns Initiative against human trafficking. After weeks of careful planning, with assistance from ROCIC, the Harris County Tactical Intelligence Unit/Homeland Security Bureau arrested 68 offenders, with an additional 76 arrests stemming from the operation in progress. The sophisticated equipment provided by ROCIC not only documented and recorded evidence but ensured the safety of law enforcement personnel.
Prostitution: Using ROCIC audio/video surveillance equipment, the Cookeville, Tennessee, Police Department conducted two prostitution sting operations that netted 25 arrests. Criminal charges included prostitution and patronizing prostitutes, solicitation of a minor, and sexual battery. The equipment was used to document criminal wrongdoing and to ensure the safety of undercover law enforcement officers and informants.
Threats and Vandalism:The Ashland, Virginia, Police Department borrowed ROCIC high-tech surveillance equipment to document the criminal acts of a stalker in order to charge him with violating a protective order, stalking, and felony vandalism. The suspect was a former boyfriend of the victim who had an extensive criminal history and had threatened the victim with bodily harm and death. He repeatedly vandalized her vehicles. The department did not have a low-light surveillance camera so one was borrowed from ROCIC to record both the front of her residence and her vehicle, from dusk to dawn. The camera provided sufficient evidence to arrest the suspect, who is now incarcerated and awaiting trial. In addition to the Ashland police officer patrols and victim services, the victim–who was relieved and grateful–now has another layer of protection, ROCIC.
Criminal Investigation:During an investigation, a military installation in Oklahoma borrowed a sophisticated Global Positioning System vehicle tracker from the ROCIC equipment staff to document a civilian employee’s use of a government-owned vehicle. The suspect was logging eight times the annual mileage on his vehicle, compared to employees with similar jobs. After installing the device and conducting surveillance for a few weeks to confirm their suspicions, the investigators interviewed the suspect, who admitted his guilt. The case has been referred to the appropriate military authorities for prosecution. The benefits of this case to the military were threefold: first, the prosecution signaled to other employees the serious consequences of misusing their equipment/vehicles; second, the investigation saved extra wear, tear, and expense from the illegal usage of the vehicle; and third, the military saved a lot of money borrowing equipment rather than purchasing it.
Information Sharing Services
Counterfeiting:The Madison County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office used ROCIC resources to disseminate information about subjects passing counterfeit $50 bills with select serial numbers. In addition to receiving valuable information about the suspects and their method of operation from numerous law enforcement agencies, the Madison County investigators were able to track the suspects through several states. Crimes were committed by the suspects in Huntsville, Florence, and Opelika, Alabama, and in Shelbyville, Columbia, Adamsville, and Franklin, Tennessee. In addition, numerous bogus bills were passed in Montgomery and DeKalb County, Alabama, according to the United States Secret Service. One witness said that the suspects passed numerous bogus bills in southern Mississippi and had planned to hit the northern part of that state before they got caught in Huntsville.
Alcohol-Related Vehicular Homicide:During the criminal investigation of an alcohol-related traffic fatality, the El Paso, Texas, Police Department turned to ROCIC after investigators had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain information on a certain driver, the insurance carrier for the driver’s vehicle, and the terms of coverage from authorities in California. The ROCIC intelligence research staff contacted WSIN, the RISS Center covering California, and the information was provided in a matter of minutes, saving investigators valuable time pursuing criminal charges.
Homicide:After an elderly couple were found brutally murdered in their home in Thomasville, North Carolina, case information and photos of the suspects were issued by the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and ROCIC posted a bulletin to law enforcement agency websites in South Carolina. Several days after the post, investigators with the Georgetown, South Carolina, Police Department were examining surveillance video of an armed robbery of a local pharmacy and identified the suspect as the one wanted in the Thomasville murders. Warrants were issued for the suspect. The highly mobile criminal continued his violent crime spree, and when confronted by police, committed suicide in a motel room in Pennsylvania.
Fraud:The Alabaster, Alabama, Police Department (APD) used ROCIC information sharing resources to link a fraud suspect to several other cases in other jurisdictions and hand the case up to federal authorities. A female purporting to be a doctor was preying on patients with stage 4 terminal cancer by offering them hope and assistance and stealing thousands of dollars from them. After contacting ROCIC, investigators learned of similar complaints filed against the suspect in Hoover, Alabama. Authorities with the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security Administration were notified of the suspect’s crimes, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation subsequently took charge of the case. The suspect broke several federal laws in several states with her horrible scam. The suspect will be charged with first-degree theft of property, aggravated identity theft, passport fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering. She has a federal hold on her in Arkansas for conducting similar scams. The APD investigator told ROCIC, “Once again, you have proven to be invaluable. Without reaching out to you on that day, Hoover would have never reached out to me, which was the catalyst for breaking this case open and seeking a measure of justice for numerous poor victims in several states.”
Robbery:The Pelham, Alabama, Police Department investigated the robbery of a gas station along Interstate 65 in which they had no leads other than suspect and vehicle descriptions. Using ROCIC to disseminate the criminal intelligence information, the Pelham investigators were contacted by the Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Police Department, which had apprehended the suspect while committing another robbery. The Pelham detective noted, “I could not have identified the suspect nor connected the crimes without the help of ROCIC. We were able to charge the suspect with first-degree robbery, as did Vestavia, and I believe Birmingham charged him as well.”
Armed Robbery:A wanted bulletin disseminated by ROCIC at the request of the Leesburg, Virginia, Police Department helped to facilitate the arrests of two armed robbery suspects who are now in custody in
West Virginia, awaiting prosecution and extradition to Virginia and Maryland. The Leesburg Police Department developed two persons of interest in armed hotel robberies in Leesburg who were also believed to be involved in similar robberies in West Virginia and Maryland. With a possible getaway vehicle description taken from surveillance, a detective began searching prior database contacts and found a possible match. A vehicle bearing West Virginia tags that had been involved in a shoplifting case was being investigated by a Leesburg patrol officer, and two identified heroin addicts, a male and a female, were suspects. ROCIC disseminated a bulletin seeking the male subject’s location. Within 30 minutes, the Martinsburg,
West Virginia, Police Department recognized the suspect from a previous arrest and provided an address for the suspect, located the suspect’s mother, and obtained his phone number. Through the assistance of the
West Virginia State Police and its regional narcotics task force, both suspects were located, arrested, and interviewed. The suspects were charged with robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and h other charges were filed by the Frederick County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office; the Berkeley County,
West Virginia, Sheriff’s Office; the West Virginia State Police; and the Washington County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office.
Shoplifting:The Clarksville, Arkansas, Police Department was investigating a smash-and-grab suspect who had stolen expensive electronics from display cases at major discount stores along Interstate 40. Store surveillance photos of the suspect and his vehicle were obtained from loss prevention personnel and disseminated throughout several states by ROCIC at the request of the Clarksville Police Department. Within days, investigators were contacted by a detective in Maysville, Kentucky, who was familiar with the suspect and his method of operation. The Clarksville police officers obtained felony arrest warrants, and the suspect was subsequently arrested in Tennessee. He has been charged with felonies in other states as well.
Burglary:The Jefferson County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) investigated a commercial burglary in which the suspects smashed out a brick wall with a sledgehammer. One suspect had worn the mask of a television character. Ten days later, the JCSO investigator received a bulletin from ROCIC regarding a burglary being investigated by the Shelby County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office. The burglary involved two suspects, one wearing the mask of a television character, and a sledgehammer was used to gain entry into a food store. The suspects were apprehended and charged with third-degree burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.
First-Degree Theft:The Cullman, Alabama, County Sheriff’s Office contacted ROCIC to disseminate information statewide about a theft case in which the victim had advertised a car for sale on an Internet marketplace. During a conference call with the reputed buyer, the buyer used a credit card to deposit funds into the victim’s bank account. The victim met with the buyer’s son at a truck stop in Good Hope, Alabama, and relinquished the vehicle to him. Later, the victim’s bank notified him that the transaction was declined. Within an hour of contacting ROCIC, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office received responses from six Alabama law enforcement agencies (the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency; the Shelby County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office; and the Hartselle, Demopolis, Tuscaloosa, and Gardendale, Alabama, Police Departments), which led to the identification of the suspect. An arrest warrant was issued for the theft of property in the first degree.
Vehicle Theft:Failing to find the information he needed from the Department of Motor Vehicles, an investigator with the Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Department accessed the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) through his RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET) Portal account. He determined that the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the complainant’s vehicle was forged. The victim had bought a car from an individual for $6,500 and was told that the title would be forthcoming from the dealership where the car had originally been sold. The VIN forged on the victim’s vehicle actually belonged to a vehicle owned in California. It was determined that the victim’s vehicle and others had been stolen from the manufacturing plant parking facilities and had never been shipped to the dealerships. A suspect was developed and arrest warrants obtained.
Officer Safety:ROCIC disseminated a bulletin regarding a couple who had committed robberies in Missouri, Alabama, and Florida and had taken a hostage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who was subsequently released. The ROCIC information was disseminated by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) to officers and detectives in Pensacola, Florida. The next evening, the suspects committed a home invasion, false imprisonment, and grand-theft auto in Pensacola while fleeing from the Florida agencies, including the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pensacola Police Department. A short time later, a stand-off occurred in Santa Rosa County involving another home invasion during which the male suspect was killed and the female suspect was taken into custody. The Pensacola CID lieutenant stated, “Because of the intelligence report dissemination from ROCIC, the Pensacola Police Department had advance knowledge of the tremendous danger this couple presented. The information enhanced our response to the situation and provided critical officer safety details that prepared the officers/detectives during the highly volatile encounter. The intelligence provided by ROCIC likely prevented any of our officers from being seriously injured or killed and prepared us for the deadly encounter.”
Fugitive Apprehension:Through an intelligence meeting hosted by ROCIC, the Texas Office of Inspector General connected with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) to apprehend a fugitive from Parker County, Texas, who was located in Sayre, Oklahoma. The fugitive was wanted on charges relating to trafficking in prison contraband. The OHP investigator forwarded information to troopers working the Sayre area. Five days later, Texas authorities were notified that Oklahoma troopers had the fugitive in custody and he was being extradited to Texas.
Intelligence Research Services
Theft:The Midland, Texas, Police Department investigated a theft case and was unable to obtain a photograph of the suspect. The ROCIC intelligence research staff promptly provided the Midland police officers with the photograph of the theft suspect, which was then used in a photo lineup in which the victim positively identified the perpetrator. The Midland police officers were able to obtain a felony warrant for his arrest. As an investigative resource, ROCIC can obtain driver’s license photos in a timely manner from more than 30 states.
Felony Theft/Assault:Felony arrest warrants were issued for a suspect who had committed numerous violent acts and thefts in Thomaston, Georgia. ROCIC resources led to his apprehension and arrest. Initially, the suspect had fled from a traffic stop by the Upson County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office in a vehicle stolen from Bibb County, Georgia. The driver had lost control and wrecked the stolen car within Thomaston. The suspect fled and eluded both the sheriff’s deputies and the city police officers. Hours later, he pulled a gun on a Thomaston woman on her front porch and held it to her head, demanding her vehicle. The victim managed to escape, and the suspect fled, only minutes later pointing his gun at a Thomaston businessman in his driveway and demanding his money and his vehicle. The victim complied, and the suspect bound him in his garage and fled in his vehicle. The businessman managed to get free and called the police on his cell phone. The police identified the suspect from the available evidence and began the search for him, developing a phone number for his ex-girlfriend, who was thought to reside in the Columbus, Georgia, area. The ROCIC intelligence research staff worked up a comprehensive report on the ex-girlfriend. Based on the ROCIC information, she was contacted by investigators and interviewed, leading to witness statements, evidence of the crime, and the arrest of the suspect in Columbus.
Theft by Deception:The ROCIC intelligence research staff assisted the Norcross, Georgia, Police Department in identifying a suspect in Palatine, Illinois, who had defrauded a local resident of $4,600 using an online marketplace. The victim wanted to purchase a business printer and connected with the seller online. The seller then offered a discount if the deal was conducted off-line. The victim wired the seller half of the discounted purchase price. The seller never sent the printer, avoided contact, and then threatened bodily harm if the victim did not stop contacting him. ROCIC assisted the Norcross police officers with obtaining the information needed to subpoena the perpetrator’s bank records and document the victim’s payment. Arrest warrants were obtained for theft by deception.
Identity Theft:The ROCIC intelligence research staff quickly provided the Winfield, Alabama, Police Department with contact information on ten identity-theft victims located in Prattville, Northport, Centreville, and Tuscaloosa, all in Alabama, whose location previously had been unknown. Talking to the victims led to the common denominator–a conspirator in Montgomery, Alabama, who was obtaining names and identity information from a car dealership in Tuscaloosa by using an employee of a cell phone carrier store in Winfield to obtain three phones and lines in each stolen identity’s name, and providing those activated phones to a coconspirator in Tuscaloosa.
Murder for Hire:The ROCIC intelligence research staff assisted the Denton County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office by locating information and state driver’s license photographs for witnesses–most of them highly mobile methamphetamine users–in the trial of a man who had solicited another person to kill his wife. The defendant was a married accountant/courier who transported millions of dollars from the Middle East, where his millionaire boss sold ice to the military. The defendant was supposed to pay taxes for his boss but kept the money for himself. The defendant began an affair with a woman in Nevada and then wanted his wife killed instead of divorcing her. He met with an individual in Terrell, Texas, who said he would kill the wife, but the supposed hit man kept leading the defendant on for more money. Finally, the wife was shot in the head but survived, losing the use of one eye. The trial was delayed three times, causing investigators to request that ROCIC locate the witnesses again each time. Investigators traveled to two cities in California and three in Texas in pursuit of the 73 witnesses involved. The assistant chief investigator said, “We could have done it without ROCIC, but it would have taken weeks, if not months, to locate the necessary people, and not in time for the trial.” The defendant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, as was the actual hit man, who was from California, and the driver of the suspect vehicle received ten years.
First-Degree Murder:Information obtained from the ROCIC intelligence research staff by the Borger, Texas, Police Department led to the subsequent out-of-state arrest of a fugitive wanted for the past two years for shooting his father 11 times and killing him. The son was arrested as a suspect, but when the $1 million bond was reduced, the suspect posted bond and fled the state. A vague tip was received two years later. Working with scant information, the ROCIC staff produced the names, addresses, and phone numbers of associates believed to be aiding the fugitive. The information was forwarded to the USMS, and a warrant was obtained in Arizona. The USMS Violent Offender Task Force and the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Investigative Strike Team conducted surveillance, positively identified the suspect, and arrested him without incident.
Gang Murder:The ROCIC intelligence research staff assisted the Tarrant County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office in locating four crucial witnesses for a pending gang-related murder case. A gang fight had developed inside a local night club and then dispersed. Outside, one gang member got into his vehicle, waited for his rival to exit, and then violently struck him down with the vehicle and killed him. The assailant’s girlfriend and cousin, along with the cousin’s wife and sister-in-law, witnessed the murder. After Tarrant County investigators contacted ROCIC, intelligence records were obtained within two hours. The girlfriend was located out of town and was interviewed; she will serve as the state’s star witness in the upcoming trial. A week later, ROCIC came through again, providing current addresses for the other witnesses, who were located and confirmed the prior testimony and will testify in favor of the victim.
Murder:The lead investigator for the Tarrant County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office was instructing a trainee in case preparation when he contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to assist in locating a transient witness in a pending murder prosecution–standard procedure for this prosecutorial member agency. The ROCIC staff quickly returned information indicating that the witness was in Mobile, Alabama. The witness was picked up and interviewed, and his statements helped secure an indictment for murder.
Homicide:Using information obtained from the ROCIC intelligence research staff, the Wise County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office located several suspects, one of whom was arrested, and several witnesses in a homicide case in which the victim was killed by blunt-force trauma to the head and her throat was cut. The ongoing joint investigation with the Texas Rangers has continued for more than a year. The ROCIC staff provided full comprehensive reports on the main suspect, the murder victim, a phone number, and an associate, using several paid subscription databases, partnered portal resources, and social media searches. The Wise County investigator noted that ROCIC has saved his agency many man-hours of work. ROCIC will be working with the District Attorney’s Office to analyze the evidence and produce numerous graphics products for the prosecution.
Homicide:The Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) was investigating a series of burglaries linked to gangs and narcotics. Armed with a list of potential suspects, investigators contacted to the ROCIC intelligence research staff for comprehensive background reports on the subjects. At the same time, other LCSO investigators identified the suspect in a deadly drive-by shooting. They knew the shooter’s name but not his location, so they issued a be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) bulletin. The homicide suspect was also one of the suspects under scrutiny in the burglary cases. Alerted by the BOLO, the LCSO property crimes supervisor shared the information generated by ROCIC with his colleagues. The homicide suspect was quickly located and apprehended. As criminal investigators often discover, intelligence gained in one case can be very useful in others. It is a matter of connecting the dots–made easier by using ROCIC’s information sharing resources.
Multiple Homicides:Through the use of sophisticated surveillance equipment borrowed and technical advice offered from the ROCIC equipment staff, the Augusta County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office solved a 13-year-old cold homicide case, plus a more current case, and removed a dangerous predator from the streets. The suspect was charged with the first-degree murder of his wife in 2003, and a murder charge for the killing of his girlfriend five years later is imminent. The suspect was first developed when the body of his wife, with multiple gunshot wounds, was recovered in West Virginia. Several investigative leads were pursued, but probable cause for arrest could not be established and the case went cold. Then in 2008, the suspect’s girlfriend at that time vanished; the case was investigated as a homicide, even though no body was found. That case eventually went cold. In 2014, the suspect strangled a female acquaintance into unconsciousness. He was arrested for attempted murder, but that case fell apart for a variety of reasons. An informant came forward and offered to work undercover. Fearing for his safety, authorities decided not to allow him to wear recording equipment. At the investigator’s request and with the permission of the sheriff and prosecutor, ROCIC was consulted to develop a strategy to use the equipment effectively and also ensure the safety of the informant. This strategy was deployed. The suspect conversed with the informant and became comfortable with him, eventually confessing not only to killing his wife but also to killing his missing girlfriend. A killer has been removed from the streets, a development not likely possible without ROCIC assistance, the investigator noted.
Kidnapping and Assault:The Newberry, South Carolina, Police Department conducted an investigation after a local businessman reported that he had been kidnapped and assaulted. The victim went to a hotel room to meet with an entertainer he had hired for a performance in Newberry, and he paid him $14,000. The entertainer–angry at the amount of money–and another man abducted the victim, wrapped him in plastic, and beat him until he agreed to pay more money. The Newberry investigators contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff for information and photos, which led to the identification of the second suspect. The information received from ROCIC assisted investigators in obtaining kidnapping and assault warrants on both suspects. The entertainer was located and arrested in California and extradited to South Carolina.
Serial Child Rape/Pornography:The Jonesboro, Arkansas, Police Department investigated numerous cases of sexual assault and rape committed by a local church youth minister whose female victims ranged from a few months old to prepubescent age. The crimes were continuous, dating back 20 years, and the number of victims totaled 54. The predator discretely videotaped his encounters and downloaded pornographic images of children from the Internet. Warrant searches of the suspect’s property yielded hundreds of thousands of pornographic still images and videos. Due to the age of some of the older video recordings, authorities could not view the recordings and document the evidence. They lacked the appropriate playback equipment and likely could not afford to purchase the gear, even if it could be located. Investigators contacted the ROCIC equipment staff for advice and discovered that the appropriate equipment was available for loan. The documentation of the evidence using this specialized equipment took many months. Confronted with the overwhelming evidence, the suspect pled guilty to two counts of rape of a minor and received two consecutive life sentences in state prison. The Craighead County, Arkansas, prosecuting attorney is considering additional state charges stemming from the vast quantity of child pornography found by officers in possession of the suspect. Thanks in part to ROCIC’s equipment loan program, a monster who preyed on young children has been removed from the streets.
Sexual Predator:The Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney’s Office contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to assist in locating one of several victims of a sexual predator who had a history of incapacitating women with drugs and then raping them. Circumstantial evidence had been obtained for the current high-profile case involving the main victim, but testimony from prior victims was needed to establish a pattern of criminal behavior. Family and friends of one of the prior victims did not know her location; her father provided her last known telephone number. That same day, ROCIC returned the listing and address of the subscriber, a man who was living out of state with the prior victim. The investigators with the District Attorney’s Office subpoenaed her through the Interstate Compact procedure and flew her in to testify at the trial. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in prison.
Illegal Alcohol Manufacture:During an investigation into an illegally operating distillery, an agent with the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to obtain information on an individual, providing only the first name of the suspect and a partial telephone number. Within a short period of time, ROCIC supplied the special agent with the suspect’s full name, a telephone number, and a service provider. Felony warrants are pending.
Drug Trafficking:The Tennessee 15th Judicial District Drug Task Force was notified by the Lamar County, Georgia, Interdiction Team that a vehicle seized on I-75 in Georgia, containing 17 pounds of marijuana, was registered to an individual in its jurisdiction. The task force contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff for information, and the ROCIC staff identified an address, property, and assets controlled by an illegal drug organization and provided photographs of suspected conspirators. Several addresses were identified, and within 72 hours, the task force uncovered eight marijuana grow operations across middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky that were producing $2 million in annual revenue. Eleven individuals were indicted on conspiracy charges for 500 marijuana plants, a Class A felony that carries 15 to 25 years imprisonment in Tennessee. Two of the organization’s leaders were extradited from Naples, Florida. The leader of the organization was identified by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) as the mastermind of a major cocaine smuggling organization operating out of the Florida Keys. The task force director stated that a simple traffic stop in Georgia, coupled with the dedicated police work of the sheriff’s office and the task force and the resources available from ROCIC, led to the dismantling of an international drug trafficking organization.
Marijuana Grow Operation:The ROCIC intelligence research staff provided enough reliable information to the Patrick County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) to lead to an indictment against a suspect believed to be responsible for the largest known outdoor marijuana grow ever discovered in Virginia. The PCSO was tipped off by a local hunter whose trail camera had recorded a Hispanic male carrying items in a rural part of the mountains. A lengthy surveillance operation was mounted, and deputies discovered an elaborate trail system, and with the assistance of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) helicopter, several marijuana grow sites. In a coordinated effort, personnel from the PCSO, the Virginia State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered 35 grow sites built on makeshift terraces, containing more than 30,000 marijuana plants, a camp/kitchen area, and a gravity-fed watering system. The street value of the marijuana was approximately $30 million. The main suspect, a 38-year-old man from North Carolina who was positively identified by a deputy on the surveillance team, is known to be involved in a larger criminal network of Mexican drug cartel activity in Patrick County. The agency is actively working with North Carolina law enforcement officials to locate the suspect. A felony warrant for the manufacture of marijuana awaits his arrest.
Fugitive Apprehension:The police chief of the Savanna, Oklahoma, Police Department contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to assist in locating a fugitive who was wanted on nine counts of burglary and larceny. ROCIC provided information on the suspect, including a previous address in western Oklahoma. That police department was contacted and the fugitive was located. The Savanna police chief traveled to the town, met with local authorities, and arrested the suspect without incident and transported him back to eastern Oklahoma.
Burglary Fugitive:The Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Department indicted a burglary suspect who fled the area and authorities were unable to locate him. The suspect contacted the sheriff’s department but did not disclose his location. The ROCIC intelligence researcher staff produced a location for the fugitive’s telephone number. The fugitive was subsequently located and arrested in Lee County, near Tupelo, Mississippi.
Home-Invasion Robbery/Assault:The Landrum, South Carolina, Police Department investigated a home invasion during which a 74-year-old man was beaten with a pool cue and robbed. The victim was not able to provide a good description because of the dim light and being bound. One vehicle, weapons, and a safe were taken during the robbery. During the investigation, possible suspect cell phone numbers were obtained by investigators. The ROCIC intelligence research staff was contacted and developed suspect names from the cell phone numbers. The suspects were then identified and found to be using stolen credit cards. The suspects were linked to several other crimes and were subsequently arrested in Augusta, Georgia, for crimes committed there. Both suspects are in jail awaiting court action.
Armed Robbery:The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office in Jackson, Mississippi, was preparing to go to trial against an armed robbery defendant but were unable to locate key witnesses critical to the prosecution. Turning to ROCIC intelligence research staff, investigators quickly obtained the addresses of the witnesses and arranged for their testimony. A guilty verdict was returned.
Bank Robbery:The Huntsville, Alabama, Police Department investigated a local bank robbery and turned to ROCIC because it suspected that the perpetrator was not a local person. The ROCIC intelligence research staff produced a photograph and identifiers for the suspect in a timely manner, which was extremely helpful, since the suspect had robbed a pharmacy and a convenience store just days after the bank robbery. The chief investigator noted that had they not been able to identify him in a timely manner, quickly get the warrants, and ultimately arrest him, there is no telling how many more robberies he might have committed (or if he would have ever been identified), as he was in their area from Chicago, Illinois, visiting with a grandmother.