RISS recently connected two new partners to the RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel): WAGang and the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). The connections enable these new partners’ information to be accessible to RISSIntel users.
RISSIntel is a web-based application providing real-time, online federated searches of more than 40 connected RISS and partner intelligence databases. RISSIntel contains millions of intelligence records and is accessible via the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET). RISSIntel provides target and investigative data, enabling officers to leverage each other’s federally regulated criminal intelligence information and to coordinate investigative efforts.
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) approached the WSIN RISS Center to create a secure intelligence database, customized for Washington’s needs. The WAGang database was developed based on the foundation of RISSIntel; however, it has been customized based on features requested by Washington. The WAGang database is searchable by authorized law enforcement personnel within Washington and across the nation on RISSNET.
Managed by the Boston Police Department, the BRIC works to reduce crime and prevent acts of terrorism throughout its region as a hub for collection, synthesis, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence relevant to law enforcement and first responders. In addition, the BRIC is a federal government partner for national security. Established in 2005, the BRIC coordinates intelligence efforts between and among public and private stakeholders throughout its nine participating municipalities, with the goal of reducing criminal activity and preventing terrorism.
The addition of these databases to RISSIntel’s already impressive portfolio of partner databases highlights the efforts RISS makes to provide more to its members with regard to criminal intelligence information sharing. Complying with stringent federal regulations, RISS maintains its strong reputation for the privacy and security of criminal intelligence information records. These connections further bolster RISS’s efforts to aid local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement in their continued efforts to curb violent crime, gang and drug activity, terrorism, and other regional and national law enforcement priorities.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website, countering violent extremism (CVE) can consist of different types of prevention and intervention approaches to increase the resilience of communities to violent extremist recruitment narratives, educate communities about the threat of online recruitment and radicalization to violence, and provide nonviolent avenues for expressing grievances and includes other innovative community-based approaches. The threat posed by violent extremists is neither constrained by international borders nor restricted to any single ideology. Individuals and groups have been inspired by a range of religious, political, or other ideological beliefs that have promoted and used violence against our nation. In addition, the use of the Internet, mainstream and social media, and information technology by violent extremists has added an additional layer of complexity.
RISS offers important information sharing and intelligence resources via the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET) as well as numerous and diverse investigative support services and officer safety resources that can assist law enforcement agencies and officers with CVE. Partner and other criminal justice resources are also accessible via RISSNET.
RISS’s support for CVE consists of publications development, postings of related documents, and training. In addition, RISS intelligence research staff and intelligence analysts have received requests for assistance regarding terrorism-/antigovernment-related cases. The RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel) provides for entries regarding terrorism and enables officers to search connected intelligence systems simultaneously.
RISS supports the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. Terrorism Liaison Officers use the WSIN Watch Center after-hours to report suspicious activity. RISS also supports fusion centers and terrorism threat assessment centers and programs such as the Targeted Violence Information Sharing System (TAVISS).
RISS cosponsors a number of the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program events and offers other related classes and training. Examples include the Terrorism Trends and Tactics Workshop, Hate and Extremism in America, Interactions by Police With Members of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, Radical Groups and Movement, and Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism.
RISS Center staff members develop terrorist- and extremist-related publications available via RISSNET. Examples include The New Face of Terrorism, Domestic Terrorism and Extremism, Paper Terrorism: Extremists Threaten and Harass Law Enforcement With Frivolous and False Lawsuits and Legal Maneuvers, and Moorish Nation: Sovereign Citizen Movement. The RISS Centers also develop regular bulletins and other law enforcement-sensitive publications, including terrorism-related articles.
The RISS Officer Safety Website (OSW) and the RISS Automated Trusted Information Exchange (ATIX) website house numerous documents and materials. Documents posted at the ATIX website include the National Countering Violent Extremism Workshop After-Action Report, American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat, Situational Awareness notices, DHS bulletins, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation threat awareness bulletins. New materials are added as they are developed or become available. The OSW includes sections for active shooters, domestic terrorism, sovereign citizens, militias, etc. The OSW and the ATIX website complement each other and focus on officer and public safety. In addition, the RISSGang Website contains information on gangs and hate groups. Materials are added to that site on a regular basis.
The RISSLeads Investigative Website serves as a hub for officers to obtain information on all crimes, including CVE, and enhances the ability to securely communicate across jurisdictions, share information, and identify potential leads.
To learn more information on how RISS can support your CVE efforts, visit www.riss.net.
RISS Congratulates the WSIN Director on Her Retirement
Ms. Karen Aumond will be retiring May 19 as the WSIN Executive Director. Director Aumond’s contribution to the disciplines of criminal intelligence and information sharing cannot be overstated. Since joining the California Department of Justice in 1978, she has devoted more than 38 years to officer safety and law enforcement investigations and prosecutions through enhanced technology, effective intelligence analysis, and development of long-term partnerships.
Director Aumond began her work at WSIN in 1982 as a criminal intelligence specialist; her criminal study areas were clandestine laboratory seizures and trends and outlaw motorcycle gangs. One of the highlights of her analytical career was the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s recognition of her work on a major nationwide case, “Operation Cacus,” which resulted in the arrests of 52 members of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang.
Director Aumond has led and participated in many significant changes for WSIN and RISS, including establishing WSIN as a nonprofit corporation in 2009 and WSIN’s conversion to the RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel), as well as her work toward the development of the RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System (RISSafe) as a premier nationwide officer safety deconfliction system.
Director Aumond has been recognized and honored with numerous awards over the years, including the Society of Certified Criminal Analysts Lifetime Achievement award in 2002 and the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) “Analyst of the Year” award in 1983 and 2000.
In acknowledgement of lifelong dedication to law enforcement, the California Narcotic Officers’ Association awarded her the Special Recognition for Contributions to Law Enforcement award, and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research honored her with the Leadership Recognition award, both in late 2015. Early this year, Director Aumond was awarded the President’s Award by the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, followed by the Distinguished Service award by the Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Units (LEIU) during the LEIU/IALEIA annual training event in New Orleans, Louisiana, for her “continued dedication and outstanding contributions to the law enforcement intelligence community.” During the same conference, she also received the One Step Ahead award from LexisNexis in recognition of her “continuous effort to enhance the criminal intelligence profession.”
RISS congratulates Director Aumond on her retirement and thanks her for her tireless efforts on behalf of law enforcement and the information sharing community.
RISS Publications Keep Officers Ahead of the Curve
Law enforcement officers need to be armed with the latest information on investigative trends, new technologies, and emerging topics. Each year, RISS Center publications staff members develop law enforcement-sensitive briefings and publications on topics such as sovereign citizens, police ambush, human trafficking, and synthetic drugs. Staff members research, develop, and distribute numerous publications, bulletins, flyers, special reports, and other criminal intelligence publications highlighting local, regional, and nationwide issues. Accessible via the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET) at the RISS Center websites, the publications and reports offer valuable information designed to enhance criminal investigations, promote officer safety, and familiarize officers with the latest societal trends. This article highlights some of the publications, reports, and flyers that have been developed by the ROCIC publications staff.
Following the murders of two officers in a shoot-out in Arkansas, ROCIC focused on the dangers posed by the militant sovereign citizen movement (SCM) and how to recognize the criminal indicators. This initial effort was followed up with additional information on paper terrorism, SCM sects, and other developments. Recent research reports have concentrated on procuring evidence from electronic devices, criminal cyber trends, the use of body-worn cameras, cell phone forensics, social media, law enforcement apps for computers and mobile devices, the Darknet, and virtual currencies.
Community policing has been spotlighted in some of the ROCIC reports on domestic violence, protecting the elderly and the mentally ill, workplace violence, investigating human trafficking and prostitution, and credit and financial crimes. Information has been disseminated on working with the private sector in combating retail crime, recognizing fraudulent identification documents, and the efficient use of ROCIC/RISS resources.
Following research posted on the rise of synthetic and designer drugs, the ROCIC publications staff developed a series of emerging-drug fact sheets. Other topics have included the risks of communicable diseases, thefts of plastic pallets and containers, and the vulnerability of the national power grid.
ROCIC recently published the 2015 ROCIC Gang Report. The publication contains 370 highly illustrated, full-color pages of maps, hand signs, graffiti, tattoos, and terminology, plus details on hundreds of gangs in the region and contact information for gang investigators and associations.
Requests to use ROCIC special research reports for training and informational purposes have come from agencies across the nation and the globe, including the Los Angeles, California, Police Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and from as far away as New Zealand.
Many publication and report topics come directly from RISS’s law enforcement coordinators—the law enforcement veterans who meet regularly with RISS member agencies in the field. RISS publications can be viewed onscreen, downloaded, and printed or disseminated as digital documents.
These are just a few examples of the many publications and reports that are developed by RISS each year that benefit law enforcement officers in their efforts to fight crime. If you are a law enforcement officer in today’s world, you cannot afford to be behind the curve—RISS publications offer you an opportunity to become well informed and up to date. Visit www.riss.net to learn more information about RISS and the contact information for each RISS Center.
Visit www.riss.net to learn more information about RISS and the contact information for each RISS Center.
Equipment Loan Leads to Suspects’ Arrests in Two Separate Narcotics Investigations
MAGLOCLEN surveillance equipment was utilized by the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Police Department Narcotics Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Violent Gang Task Force during two separate narcotics investigations. The surveillance equipment was used to identify and confirm information received by the investigators. The first investigation resulted in the arrest of one individual, who was charged with possession with the intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, and firearms violations. Seizures included 550 grams of hydroponic marijuana, valued at $11,000; 38,360 grams of synthetic marijuana, valued
at $767,200; $700 in U.S. currency; and four weapons, valued at $1,000. The second investigation resulted in the arrest of one suspect, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance and intent to deliver. Seizures included 3,650 grams of hydroponic marijuana, valued at $273,000, and $3,450 in U.S. currency.
Intelligence Research Staff Assistance Leads to Identification of Suspects in Complex Credit Card Fraud Case
The Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Police Department contacted the MOCIC intelligence research staff for assistance in a complex credit card fraud case. Investigators had information about a rental vehicle that was seen leaving one of the fraud locations. The MOCIC staff obtained information from a southern state that assisted investigators in positively identifying three of the fraud suspects. According to investigators, the information provided by MOCIC also assisted in expanding the investigation to more than $150,000 of fraud-related loss in 12 states.
Surveillance Equipment and RISSProp: Essential Tools in Solving Numerous Break-Ins
Surveillance equipment on loan from NESPIN contributed to the success of an investigation regarding an individual who was suspected of numerous break-ins to area homes and businesses. The investigation was conducted by the Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Police Department, along with the Sheffield and the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Police Departments and the Massachusetts Crime Scene Services. The surveillance equipment assisted officers in monitoring the daily activities of the target. The investigation culminated with the arrest of the suspect, who was charged with five counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony and six counts of felony larceny over $250. More than $10,000 worth of tools were stolen—some identified through the RISS Property and Recovery Tracking System (RISSProp)—along with more than $5,000 in copper and more than $1,000 in miscellaneous items.
RISSafe Provides Officer Safety During Execution of a Search Warrant and Narcotics Seizures
The Peoria, Arizona, Police Department (a RMIN member agency) served a search warrant on a Phoenix, Arizona, address in reference to an ongoing investigation, entering the location into RISSafe before serving the warrant. During the execution of the warrant, the suspect was found hiding in the attic crawl space of his master bedroom. During a search of the residence, the Peoria Police Department detectives located approximately 15 pounds of a high-grade hydroponic marijuana, valued at $63,000; 2 pounds of marijuana “wax,” valued at $27,000; a large amount of mushrooms, valued at $45,000; and various other drugs and multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia. In addition, detectives located approximately $80,000 in U.S. currency and several firearms, valued at $2,500, one of which was stolen from the city of Phoenix. One vehicle, valued at $40,000, was also seized.
Information Provided by Intelligence Research Staff Leads to Largest Discovery of Outdoor Marijuana Grow Site in Virginia
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 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 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.
Analytical Products Useful in Solving Case Involving the Death of a Child
The Lewis County, Washington, District Attorney’s Office requested assistance from the WSIN analytical staff on a case involving the death of a 3-year-old child. Detectives concluded that the suspects had taken the victim after the victim’s 21-year-old mother gave the suspects temporary custody while she was homeless and looked for work out of state. The victim died in the suspects’ custody. The sheriff called it severe abuse and neglect, and the coroner labeled the cause of death as chronic battered child syndrome. The married couple caring for the boy claimed that his mother had just dropped him off with them when he became unresponsive. In addition to other evidence against the couple, the WSIN staff mapped the couple’s cell phone activity and disputed their claim that they had brought the boy to his mother, whom they were trying to implicate. Both defendants pled guilty to charges of first-degree manslaughter and third-degree assault on a child, with domestic violence enhancements to both charges. They each received 34 years in prison.
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