RISS Insider: Winter 2017

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RISS Insider
Winter 2017

ROCIC Offers New Online Tool for RISS Member Agencies

The ROCIC RISS Center has established a new online tool called the Drug Pricing Reference Guide, which is accessible 24/7 through the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET) to all RISS member agencies. This new resource, already boasting more than 3,500 records, covers the entire United States and now serves as the drug pricing reference guide for RISS nationwide. Mr. Kendall Neal, ROCIC Criminal Intelligence Unit Manager, recently stated, “Whether assessing the value of a seizure, adding credibility to your undercover story, or using it to track narcotics trends, the Drug Pricing Reference Guide was designed to easily put information in and easily get information out.”

The purpose of this database is to offer a resource to member agencies that will enable them to search for comparable prices on narcotics, serve as a price guide when assessing the value of seizures and contraband, and identify supply and demand and popularity trends within the drug market.

The submittal tool enables officers to input drug price data at any given time, thereby ensuring that the database is continuously updated. To submit a drug price, the date, state, county, drug, weight, and price fields are required. The purity and case number are optional fields.

The search tool permits officers to search one or multiple drugs at a time. The user can select the specific date or date range, state, county, and purity grade to narrow down the results. The results will be presented in a graph, and multiple drugs will be plotted on the same graph using different colored lines, which are identified in the key below the graph.


A typical search could show the average prices of heroin and cocaine from June 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016, in the United States. The online graph shows the drug prices from individual entries, along with the overall average during the time frame noted at the bottom. To narrow results, users can filter by state, county, and/or purity grade.

According to Scott Sides, Supervisory Inspector for the U.S. Marshals Office, Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, “This would serve as a good tool for the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. When we arrest a fugitive who may be in possession of narcotics, because of the large area and multiple states we cover, it is often difficult to place a dollar amount on the seizure.” ROCIC anticipates that RISS users will find the Drug Pricing Reference Guide a valuable resource when searching prices on narcotics. To learn more about how to access the Drug Pricing Reference Guide, contact ROCIC at (800) 238-7985.

RISS Welcomes the New RMIN Executive Director
Jeff L. Pierce

Mr. Jeff L. Pierce was selected by the RMIN Executive Policy Board to serve as the new Executive Director for RMIN. Mr. Pierce assumed his full-time duties as the RMIN Executive Director on January 1, 2017.

Since 1997, Mr. Pierce has had a longtime history with RMIN and the RISS Program, having successfully served as the RMIN Deputy Director. During the past 20 years at RMIN, Mr. Pierce helped RMIN achieve dramatic growth in services, membership, funding, and personnel. In addition to his Deputy Director duties, Mr. Pierce also served as the RMIN Chief of Staff, with oversight over the daily operations and activities of all RMIN Center staff and field service law enforcement coordinators located in eight states. These responsibilities gave Mr. Pierce the opportunity to work closely on all aspects of the RMIN mission, including close coordination with the Executive Director at the other five RISS Centers.

Mr. Pierce also served as the Chair of the RISS Deputy Directors Standing Committee to address special RISS-wide assignments and research projects for the RISS National Policy Group (RNPG). Over the years, the committee has made several strategic recommendations to the RNPG that have impacted the RISS Program, including the creation of the RISS Technology Support Center and the implementation of the RISS Adaptive Strategy. In addition, Mr. Pierce served on RMIN special assignments, including coordinating RISS-wide support for the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics and establishing five new RISSafe Watch Centers.

Mr. Pierce had a successful career as a U.S. Army Counterintelligence (CI) officer, commanding units at company- and field-grade levels in both the U.S. and Europe. He also served in senior joint-duty assignments at U.S. Pacific Command; U.S. Space Command; and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, coordinating military CI and counterterrorism activities in a joint-service, multinational environment. This included direct national coordination with other U.S. intelligence agencies. He retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Mr. Pierce has an executive juris doctorate degree from Concord Law School, Los Angeles (LA), California; a master of science degree in criminal justice from California State University–LA; and a bachelor of science degree in law enforcement from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. He was a distinguished military graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of California–LA.

RMIN and RISS are excited to welcome Mr. Pierce as the new RMIN Executive Director and for him to continue efforts to provide quality services and resources to the RMIN member agencies.

Event Deconfliction Awareness Video Now Available
 

The safety of officers and citizens is of paramount importance to law enforcement leaders. Officer safety event deconfliction enables law enforcement personnel to determine whether law enforcement agencies or officers are unknowingly working in close proximity to each other at the same time. Often undercover operations, buy-busts, and other high-risk law enforcement efforts occur unbeknownst to other affected agencies or officers who may be in the same vicinity. Unidentified conflicts in these situations can lead to officers or citizens being unintentionally injured or, worse, killed. Event deconfliction helps avoid “blue-on-blue” or “friendly fire” situations, while maintaining the integrity of investigations, resources, and assets.


There are three nationally recognized event deconfliction systemsRISSafe, SAFETNet, and Case Explorer. The RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System (RISSafe) was developed by RISS and is used by law enforcement agencies, some High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs), state agencies, fusion centers, RISS members, and others. The Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) published a call to action in 2013 that urged all law enforcement agencies to use a deconfliction system, regardless of the system. The CICC also emphasized the need for the three systems to integrate.

In May 2016, the systems achieved this significant milestone, using a solution known as the Partner Deconfliction Interface, or PDI. Now, regardless of the system, users receive conflict information from the other two connected systems. This effort has strengthened officer safety and increased information sharing across jurisdictions.

In an effort to further educate law enforcement personnel on the importance of using event deconfliction in their operations, the Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment supported the development of an awareness video on event deconfliction. The video, entitled “Safeguarding Officers Through Event Deconfliction,” is now available.

The video consists of law enforcement professionals sharing their real-life situations in which event deconfliction was not used and examples of how deconfliction has saved lives and assisted in solving cases. The message of the video is simplebe safe and use event deconfliction. There is no excuse to not use event deconfliction. It is available to all law enforcement agencies at no cost.

The www.ncirc.gov/deconfliction website provides information on how to access the video, answers to frequently asked questions, a model event deconfliction policy, and other outreach materials and resources. As Matt McDonald, RISS National Coordinator, says, “I hope you are taking advantage of this resource because your life and the lives of others depend on it.”

RISS Introduces RISSNET Online Registration
 

A law enforcement officer’s time is valuable, and every minute spent requesting accounts, logging on to systems, and navigating through the numerous resources available is time away from safeguarding our communities. RISS recognizes that time is a commodity, and it is important to streamline the process for officers so they can quickly access information and apply it to their efforts.


Over the past several months, RISS has been diligently working to enhance its account registration process, methods to access resources housed on the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET), and the overall user experience. As a result of this effort, RISS is proud to announce the deployment of the new RISSNET Online Registration. Now, officers registering for new RISSNET accounts can do so at their own computers using the online registration process. Not only will this new process reduce paperwork and administrative processing time, online registration will enable officers to quickly obtain a RISSNET account and access to data. Completing the registration is quick and easy. This new capability will also enable officers who are attending training events or visiting conferences to send their registration information using this tool.

During the RISSNET Online Registration process, users will navigate to the online registration page and enter basic information, including name, work title, e-mail, phone, and agency information. They will then select a password following the site’s password criteria. This password is used to complete the registration and sign in to RISSNET. A simple CAPTCHA exercise must be completed, and the registrant then needs to agree to the presented terms and conditions.

After a user enters and submits his or her registration information, the in-region RISS Center processes the registration request before a confirmation e-mail is sent to the user. The registration request may also pass through an agency representative before being sent to the RISS Center. Once processed, the user is able to sign in to RISSNET and access authorized RISSNET resources.

The RISSNET Online Registration marks a milestone in RISS’s goal to bring the latest technology solutions, secure infrastructure, and security to its member agencies, users, and partners. Moving forward, RISS will be deploying additional features, including a new public website, landing page, and user self-service components. For more information about the RISSNET Online Registration, contact your in-region RISS Center or e-mail portalfeedback@risstech.riss.net.

Shared Successes
 

Use of Recording Equipment Results in Arrest of Suspects in Multicounty Narcotics Investigation

MAGLOCLEN audio/video recording equipment was utilized by the Rockland County, New York, District Attorney’s Office; the Rockland County Intelligence Center; the Spring Valley, New York, Police Department; and the Orangetown, New York, Police Department in a three-month, multicounty narcotics investigation. The equipment was used to record transactions between the undercover narcotics officers and the drug dealers to provide probable cause for future arrest warrants. An execution of search warrants on the suspected drug locations resulted in the arrests of four individuals, who were charged with felony drug violations, including endangering the welfare of a child. Seizures included $216,000 in U.S. currency and two firearms, valued at $2,000.

Intelligence Research Information Helps Authorities Positively Identify Suspects in a Fraud Investigation


The Sarpy County, Nebraska, Sheriff’s Office contacted the MOCIC intelligence research staff for assistance in a credit card fraud investigation. Authorities needed to identify two suspects who they believed had traveled the United States with cloned credit card information, stealing thousands of dollars along the way. In one city alone, the suspects were responsible for more than $10,000 in losses. For the first suspect, they had a possible name and information that he may be from a West Coast state. For the second suspect, they had only a possible name. The MOCIC staff obtained information that helped authorities to positively identify both suspects and obtain felony warrants for their arrests
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RISSProp Assists Officers in Identifying Suspect in Stolen Property Investigation

The Simsbury, Connecticut, Police Department utilized the RISS Property and Recovery Tracking System (RISSProp) to search for reported stolen items. The suspect had more than 290 transactions that year alone at local pawnshops. At the conclusion of the investigation, the suspect admitted to 19 shed burglaries, and the police officers recovered stolen property valued at $30,000 from the pawnshops. Most of the items were powered lawn equipment and powered tools. The suspect admitted to burglaries in Granby, East Granby, East Hartford, and West Hartford, Connecticut. One officer stated, “NESPIN played a big role in assisting us with identifying a suspect and closing this case with 19 solved burglaries.”

Analytical Staff Provide Communication Analysis That Leads to a Conviction in a Homicide Case

The Miles City, Montana, Police Department requested assistance from the RMIN analytical staff with a homicide case involving a defendant who allegedly had committed two homicides in different Montana counties (Custer and Missoula) and allegedly had injured another woman during a knife attack. The RMIN staff provided communication analysis of social media and cell phone data. The defendant was convicted and received a sentence of 100 years for the homicide, plus an additional 10 years for the use of the weapon (knife) in the assault.

GPS Vehicle Tracker Helps Facilitate Surveillance of a Known Drug Trafficker


A known drug trafficker used the United States Postal Service and a commercial parcel carrier to send and receive shipments of cocaine. A Global Positioning System (GPS) vehicle tracker borrowed from the ROCIC equipment staff was placed on his vehicle to facilitate surveillance of the subject. Search warrants were obtained and executed at several addresses and storage units in Davidson County, Tennessee. The search yielded more than 8 ounces of cocaine, 12 pounds of marijuana, $28,000 in cash, seven firearms, two vehicles, and gold/silver bars and coins valued at more than $4,000. The ROCIC device revealed the suspect’s travels to Kentucky and Ohio, which assisted the United States Postal Inspection Service in those states with its investigations involving controlled substances being shipped through the mail. Without the availability of the ROCIC device, investigators with the 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force would not have been able to obtain information on the target’s general movements, nor would they have been able to surveil the target through heavy vehicular traffic. The case is pending in Sumner County court, and further charges against the target and his wife are pending the grand jury session in Davidson County.

Utilizing RISSIntel and RISSafe Assists Investigators With the Indictment of Two Suspects for Sex 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 the RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel) to see whether the suspects were being investigated by another agency and used the RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System (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
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