Western States Information Network (WSIN)
Located in Sacramento, California
Serving Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Canada, Guam, and New Zealand
“We absolutely could not have been successful without the equipment that WSIN provided.”
Sacramento, California, Police Department
“The link chart and timeline look great! I really appreciate all of your effort in helping us out.”
Des Moines, Washington, Police Department
“The RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel) is a valuable deconfliction system that enhances our ability to coordinate drug investigations. We recently inquired on a suspect that the team had begun to investigate, and RISSIntel connected us to a case that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was currently investigating involving the same target. This enabled us to be more efficient and collaborate on this particular investigation.”
Douglas County Interagency Narcotics Team
“Yesterday, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)–Hawaii Field Office, along with the Honolulu, Hawaii, Police Department, filmed a news release at the crime scene of a 1980 double homicide of two U.S. Marines. Since the murders, the case has gone cold until recently, when our agencies found new interest because of the advancement of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing and several potential leads. My role, as our intelligence specialist, was to review the entire case and develop finished intelligence products, such as link diagrams, association matrices, and timelines that would ultimately result in a much clearer and better understanding of the case for our leadership. The WSIN Watch Center, along with its RISS regional partners, assisted me with elements of these products in a very timely and accurate fashion. Such a great partner and resource to have! On behalf of NCIS, I want to express our gratitude.”
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Hickam, Hawaii, Field Office
“I went through the documents. That is amazing, the work that you put in.”
Amador County, California, Drug Task Force
“The camera baby seat was great and very reliable. This equipment was well worth it. Thank you to the specialized equipment technician for answering our questions and teaching us how to use it throughout the investigation. We could not have done it without WSIN.”
Hayward, California, Police Department
“Those are exceptional analytical products. Thank you so much for the quick turnaround on the request for information.”
Orange County, California, Sheriff’s Department
“Awesome! Thank you. I am building probable cause for a search warrant, so perfect timing.”
Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse
California Department of Justice
“I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your help, and I truly appreciate your hard work.”
Avenal, California, Police Department
“I received good news from the U.S. Marshal that he picked him up this weekend in Tennessee and brought him back to California. Thank you very much for your help on this case. You were able to close out a lot of possible scenarios for us that we would have spent time on.”
California Highway Patrol
“Everything is working out great with the gang organization chart. It is very easy to manipulate and change when needed. My supervisors have been very impressed. We appreciate your help with this project. I might have a new project in the not-too-distant future.”
Porterville, California, Police Department
“That ‘Event Flow Analysis and Mapping’ PowerPoint is great. I like how it orients the activities to the map on the timeline.”
Ukiah, California, Police Department
“You did phenomenal today! Thank you so much. And now you can put ‘testified as an expert in superior court’ on your curriculum vitae! It was nice to work with you.”
Monterey County, California, District Attorney’s Office
“The case against these individuals is a lot stronger because of your work. Mission accomplished, and I couldn’t have done it without your help.”
Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse
California Department of Justice
WSIN 2017 Success Stories
Narcotics/Identity Theft: The California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, Drug Diversion Team contacted the WSIN analytical staff to assist with a prescription drug fraud case. The case involved a prostitution ring that also stole the identities of multiple doctors and passed prescriptions at pharmacies throughout northern California. The WSIN staff provided link and phone record analysis, which delivered valuable leads for the agency. To date, three defendants have been convicted–each on two counts of obtaining a prescription for a controlled substance by fraud/deceit/misrepresentation, with a sentence of five years felony probation and 120 days in jail. One defendant is currently going through the court process and is charged with the charges listed above, as well as identity theft, burglary, and forging/altering a prescription. Five defendants have felony criminal charges filed and outstanding arrest warrants.
Narcotics: The U.S. Forest Service in Sonora, California, borrowed six WSIN Global Positioning System (GPS) vehicle trackers for use during a large narcotics case. Agents tracked several vehicles over a two-month period, which resulted in the arrests of four individuals and the seizures of 110 pounds of marijuana, hash, two vehicles, two firearms, and indoor growing equipment.
Narcotics: The Richmond, California, Police Department borrowed a GPS vehicle tracker and new night-vision goggles with 6x magnification from the WSIN equipment staff for a cocaine trafficking case. Currently, one suspect has been arrested, with more arrests pending. Officers seized 11 ounces of marijuana, valued at $5,000; 1 kilo and 13 ounces of cocaine, valued at $43,000; 4 ounces of methamphetamine (meth), valued at $16,000; three Ecstasy (MDMA) pills, valued at $30; and $900 in U.S. currency.
Narcotics: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sacramento borrowed an audio recorder and a microphone with a 25-foot cord from the WSIN equipment staff for a prison investigation. Officers arrested two suspects and seized 25 grams of meth, valued at $12,500, and 2 pounds of tobacco, valued at $2,000.
Narcotics: The California Department of Corrections, California State Prison–Sacramento bugged a cell with a WSIN custom-made microphone to gather intelligence on the smuggling of narcotics. Recently, it was able to seize 30 grams of meth, with a prison value of $14,000.
Narcotics: The California Department of Corrections, California State Prison (CSP)–Sacramento bugged a cell with a WSIN custom-made microphone to gather intelligence on the smuggling of narcotics. Recently, the CSP seized 50 grams of meth, with a prison value of $18,000.
Gang Activity: The Sacramento, California, Police Department borrowed three night-vision goggles from the WSIN equipment staff to use on a gang case. The goggles were used to monitor drug deals in a neighborhood from a friendly house. The case resulted in the arrests of ten gang members and the seizures of two firearms, cocaine, and marijuana.
Gang Activity: The Hayward, California, Police Department borrowed a new baby seat Internet Protocol (IP) camera with a drop kit from the WSIN equipment staff. The baby seat kit was used in a wiretap investigation, called “Operation Winter Storm,” that involved the East Las Palmas criminal street gang. The baby seat camera revealed two gang members leaving their house with loaded assault rifles in what officers believed was going to be a hit. Currently, nine suspects have been arrested. In addition, officers seized two rifles, ten handguns, 13.71 grams of cocaine, and 28.8 grams of meth.
Gang Activity: The Sacramento, California, Police Department has had a long-term loan of night-vision goggles for several cases, including the Strawberry Manor Bloods investigation. Twice per week, the department has been using the night-vision goggles and has had a great deal of success. Recently, 20 arrests were made, with seizures including three handguns, five automatic rifles, two semiautomatic rifles, more than 10 pounds of marijuana, and ½ pound of meth.
Gang Activity: The SPD borrowed three WSIN night-vision goggles to use while surveilling gang criminal activity. The SPD has been using the night-vision goggles twice per week and has had a great deal of success. Recently, they made three arrests and seized three handguns and 2 ounces of cocaine, with a combined value of $4,500.
Human Trafficking: The Placer County, California, Special Investigations Unit borrowed a microwave hotel drop kit from the WSIN equipment staff to use in a human trafficking case, called “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.” The case resulted in 14 arrests, and officers seized 5.8 pounds of liquid codeine, valued at $13,000; 1 gram of meth; one slimline, subcompact handgun; and $4,208 in U.S. currency.
Human Trafficking: The El Dorado County, California, Sheriff’s Office borrowed a microwave hotel drop kit from the WSIN equipment staff for an undercover human trafficking case. Officers made two felony arrests and five misdemeanor arrests. In addition, officers seized 3.5 grams of meth, valued at $600, and $2,200 in U.S. currency.
Human Trafficking: The Roseville, California, Police Department (RPD) borrowed a WSIN audio and video recording device to use in an undercover prostitution investigation. Through the assistance of the equipment, the RPD made nine arrests, including the main ringleader. Two underage individuals, who were being trafficked, were rescued.
Homicide: The Sacramento County, California, Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) contacted the WSIN equipment staff to request an audio recorder for a homicide case. The SCSO used a civilian informant who utilized the audio recorder to obtain confessions on several suspects in the case and has obtained more than 100 hours of audio. So far, the SCSO has received one of five confessions that it is seeking.
Homicide: The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) in Sacramento, California, requested a WSIN IP pole camera to use in a homicide case in which the suspect, who the USMS was trying to locate, had been on the run for more than two years. The WSIN equipment staff referred the USMS to the Sacramento Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for assistance in securing the camera to conduct surveillance. Within two weeks of the camera being operational and recording, the USMS spotted the suspect, who was immediately arrested.
Homicide: The Sacramento, California, Police Department (SPD) borrowed three WSIN night-vision goggles for use in a homicide investigation. The goggles were used to surveil the suspect, who was arrested soon after.
Narcotics: A fentanyl bulletin produced by WSIN was distributed by one of the WSIN Law Enforcement Coordinators at a meeting with the Cal Poly University Police Department at San Luis Obispo, California. A few weeks later, a sergeant was making a welfare check on a student and found the presence of a white powder. Remembering the information from the fentanyl bulletin, the sergeant took the appropriate steps and summoned the medical attention needed to save the student’s life.
RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel)
Gang Activity: Thirteen law enforcement agencies from Contra Costa County, California, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrested and charged 22 suspected Norteños in one of the largest gang busts in Contra Costa County history. The arrests were the result of a long-running investigation that culminated in an intensive, eight-week surveillance effort. The investigators utilized RISSIntel to search and store their suspects’ information and deconflicted their field operations using the RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System (RISSafe).
Narcotics: A Benton County, Washington, Metro Drug Task Force officer called in a RISSafe buy/walk operation to the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Watch Center. Target, date of birth (DOB), and Washington State Department of Licensing information was collected, checked, and stored in RISSIntel. A match was found with the Medford, Oregon, Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team (MADGE). MADGE had stored the target under a different name, with an alias. The alias name and the DOB matched the inquiry of the Washington task force officer, who was unaware and surprised to hear that this individual had a different name reported through Oregon. The task force officer stated that he will inquire about the target’s correct name and contact MADGE for more information.
Narcotics: The North Central Drug Task Force in Okanogan, Washington, was investigating a suspect who had been importing 30 pounds of meth every month in the Okanogan Valley. Officers entered the suspect’s name and vehicle information into RISSIntel. Within a couple of weeks, the officers received a phone call from the Californian Highway Patrol indicating that their suspect’s vehicle license plate had been read by a license plate reader in Sacramento, California. This information was very helpful to the task force, because it confirmed suspicions that the suspect was importing the meth from southern California.
Narcotics/Human Trafficking: An investigation began with the sheriff’s office in Mariposa County, California, regarding the cultivation and sale of marijuana. There was not enough evidence to prosecute at that time. A year later, a structure fire uncovered another marijuana grow operation, which had a link to the original case. An inquiry was submitted to RISSIntel for the primary suspect, and the Mariposa County Sheriff was contacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding a multiyear investigation involving human trafficking. The WSIN staff gathered intelligence and resources, through assistance from DHS, and identified multiple suspects and residences involved. After numerous search warrants, 11 properties were searched, and 15 suspects were identified and $6,700 in cash and 14 firearms were seized. More than 4,700 marijuana plants were eradicated. Two of the suspects were ultimately convicted and sentenced at the federal level, and the remaining suspects were brought up on state charges.
Marijuana: The Mariposa County, California, Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) started an investigation into the cultivation and sales of marijuana involving a subject of Chinese descent. At the time, there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Later on, a structure fire uncovered another marijuana growing operation with a link to the original suspect. WSIN was contacted by the MCSO to submit an entry in RISSIntel for the primary suspect, and the MCSO was, in turn, contacted by DHS regarding its multiyear investigation involving the human trafficking of Chinese nationals and prostitution rings. The MCSO was able to pool intelligence and resources with the federal investigators and identify multiple other involved subjects and residences. After numerous search warrants were secured, a total of 11 properties were searched and 15 suspects were identified. Seizures included $6,700 in U.S. currency and 14 firearms, and approximately 4,700 marijuana plants were eradicated. Two of the suspects were ultimately convicted and sentenced at the federal level for multiple crimes, and the rest were handled at the state level. Without the assistance of WSIN, these operations (including marijuana and human trafficking) would have continued for an unknown amount of time. Through the efforts of WSIN, the MCSO made a nexus from local drug violations to a nationwide trafficking operation and pooled intelligence and resources with a federal agency that had not been worked with previously to bring these operations to a stop. All defendants’ cases have been adjudicated.
Flophouse/Possible Dog Fighting: The Northwest HIDTA Watch Center searched an address in Snohomish County, Washington, for a detective at the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force. The detective was looking at the address as a nuisance flophouse. A hit was returned involving a Washington State Gambling Commission case involving dog fighting. The address was one of several locations listed in the RISSIntel record where dog fights were potentially being held. The detective did a consent search of the location, and there was no indication of dog fighting. The Washington State Gambling Commission stated that the fact that nothing was found was very helpful to its case, eliminating one address as a possible location and saving investigative time.
Target Information: A special agent with the DEA–Seattle Office received four hits (two in Washington and two in Oregon) on information searched for in RISSIntel by the Northwest HIDTA. One specific case, a hit on an address, was from a case submitted from a HIDTA Task Force. The special agent stated that the information received allowed him to contact the case agent(s) and learn that they were close to finishing their investigations, so the special agent was going to stop working on his case. He stated that this has saved him from doing duplicate work, and he was able to learn more information on his target.
Human Trafficking: Two California men were indicted by an Anchorage, Alaska, grand jury on 11 counts of sex trafficking, kidnapping, and sexual assault for allegedly forcing two young females into prostitution by intimidation and abuse and with the use of narcotics. The two suspects were each charged with two counts of first-degree sex trafficking, three counts of second-degree sex trafficking, four counts of third-degree sex trafficking, first-degree sexual assault, and kidnapping in connection with an alleged statewide prostitution operation. The suspects first appeared on the Alaska State Troopers’ radar when a trooper stopped the suspects and the two female companions for speeding. The trooper suspected them of being involved in sex trafficking or drug trafficking and alerted the Alaska State Troopers’ Fairbanks Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) and the Special Crimes Investigation Unit (SCIU) in Anchorage. Through their investigation, SDEU and SCIU investigators found that the two females, ages 19 and 20, were being pimped out by both men in a statewide prostitution enterprise. Investigators utilized RISSIntel to see whether the suspects were being investigated by another agency and used RISSafe to deconflict several search warrants. The warrants uncovered many items associated with sex trafficking, including narcotics, more than $10,000 in cash, multiple cell phones, ledgers with clients names and phone numbers, and numerous documents on money laundering.
Human Trafficking: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), El Centro, California, Sector Intelligence Unit was going to serve an arrest warrant on an individual for human trafficking. The arrest warrant was submitted into RISSafe, and an additional hit was returned for the same address from the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Office (SBCSO) on a murder suspect. The SBCSO was contacted after it was determined that the individual it was seeking had moved from the location months prior and the El Centro Intelligence Unit’s suspect had moved in, confirming that the suspect was currently living at that location. The arrest warrant was served successfully later that day.