ALABAMA

RISS Center- ROCIC

Alabama Leadership for ROCIC

In addition to federal monitoring, ROCIC is governed by a board of directors composed of an elected member and a proxy from each of the 14 states in the ROCIC region. In Alabama, these leadership positions are held by:

Board Member:
Sheriff John Samaniego
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
(205) 669-4181

Board Proxy:
Major Ken Burchfield
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
(205) 669-4181

Gadsden Police Department
Information Sharing Services

Burglary: The Gadsden Police Department (GPD) investigated the burglary of a local mosque, during which a white male suspect stole the donation box containing in excess of $1,000. There was no forced entry or evidence of tampering with the alarm system, which was bypassed. Information about the burglary was disseminated by ROCIC to law enforcement agencies in Alabama and other states through the eBulletin, special flyers, and the RISSLeads Investigative Website. Information was returned about a similar burglary in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The suspect in the Virginia case was identified; he was the same perpetrator as the one in the Gadsden case. Arrest warrants were obtained, but the suspect remains at large. He is a parole violator in North Dakota and is believed responsible for mosque burglaries in the Alabama cities of Anniston and Tuscaloosa; Blacksburg, Virginia; and several other states.The GPD was later notified by ROCIC that the stolen donation box had been recovered in Shelby County, Alabama. The GPD investigating lieutenant noted that the mosque burglary would have remained unsolved without the unique services of ROCIC.

In FY2017—

226 Member Agencies
10,838 Sworn Personnel Served
433 Officers and Personnel Trained
70,632 Intelligence Database Inquiries
801 Intelligence Database Hits
529 Requests for Information on 10,737 Targets
45,290 Analytical and 136 Forensic Products Delivered
77,880 Bulletins andSpecial Reports Disseminated
59 Pieces of Investigative Equipment Loaned

Enterprise Police Department
Analytical Services

Homicide: The Enterprise Police Department (EPD) worked a homicide case in which the victim was shot while committing a ruse. He would promise clients to obtain illegal drugs for them but then rob them of their money. The victim tried to pull this ruse on two men who were aware of the ploy. The customers picked up the victim at his residence and drove to get the drugs. During the drive, the victim communicated through a social media texting service with his associates, who were going to pick him up after the robbery. When the trio arrived at the destination to buy the drugs, one suspect shot the victim in the shoulder. As the victim tried to run and escape, the suspect shot him in the head and killed him. Investigators with the EPD obtained the texting data and cell phone records for the victim and the suspects and submitted them for analysis. The ROCIC analytical staff returned social media data that led the investigator to identify the suspect with whom he needed to talk in order to solve the murder. Cell tower mapping produced by the ROCIC staff proved valuable, since it placed the shooter at the scene of the crime.

Florence Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Aggravated Burglaries: A suspect arrested under an alias in Florence for residential burglary and theft was
discovered to be a convicted felon wanted for aggravated commercial and residential burglaries spanning
Texas, Alabama, and Tennessee. The suspect’s true identity was determined, in part, through the use of a
New Jersey driver’s license photo provided by the ROCIC intelligence research staff at the Florence Police
Department investigator’s request. Without ROCIC’s assistance, the suspect probably would have made
bond under his alias and fled the area. Along with valuables, the suspect had been stealing passports, driver’s
licenses, and other personal identification and selling them to identity- theft rings. The Metropolitan Nashville,
Tennessee, Police Department has 37 active warrants for the suspect’s arrest and is waiting for him to make
bond in Alabama.

Testimonials

“Thank you, ROCIC, for the invaluable role that you play in helping us keep our communities as safe as possible. Our agency has been a member of ROCIC since 1995, and membership has paid great dividends.”

—Alexander City Police Department

“Your work saved a lot of victims, past and present, additional grief.”

—Florence Police Department

“Your staff does a fantastic job, and they make it easy for me to work with them.”

—Opelika Police Department

“Without ROCIC’s loans of this sophisticated equipment, we would have been unable to make these cases and try to make a dent in narcotics trafficking in our city. Two significant arrests of narcotics traffickers resulted.”

—Birmingham Police Department

Alexander City Police Department
Equipment Services

Gang Activity: The Alexander City Police Department borrowed ROCIC surveillance equipment to be utilized during an investigation into illegal activities of an aggressive street gang involved in drug trafficking, shootings, and thefts. The ROCIC equipment was used to identify gang members, establish patterns of activity, and set up controlled drug buys, while enhancing the safety of undercover officers. The investigation, which is ongoing, has led to 20 arrests and the seizure of narcotics and one weapon.

Alabaster Police Department
Information Sharing Services

Shoplifting: Within five minutes of ROCIC disseminating a bulletin regarding a series of retail thefts in Alabaster targeting electronic fitness-tracker devices, the Alabaster Police Department (APD) received calls from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and the Clanton Police Department identifying the suspect, in addition to a call from an asset protection investigator with a large discount store chain. The APD was then able to obtain multiple arrest warrants against the identified theft suspect. The grateful case detective characterized the response to ROCIC’s bulletin as nothing short of amazing.

Birmingham Police Department
Equipment Services

Narcotics Trafficking: The Birmingham Police Department borrowed Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices from the ROCIC equipment staff in an effort to combat drug trafficking, and as a result, two major narcotics traffickers were arrested and charged. In one case, a device was placed on a drug trafficker’s vehicle as an integral part of an operation in which three pounds of marijuana were seized, along with three firearms and more than $5,000 in cash. The other device was placed on the vehicle of a key member of a cocaine trafficking organization. Using physical surveillance and the GPS vehicle tracker, investigators developed a pattern on the suspect and eventually gained probable cause to execute a narcotics search warrant on his home. Police officers seized $27,000 in cash and six ounces of cocaine. The lead detective noted that his investigators would not have been able to make these cases without the use of the ROCIC equipment.

Opelika Police Department
Analytical Services

Murder: The Opelika Police Department arrested a murder case suspect, who was out on bond for a previous charge. The District Attorney’s Office needed physical evidence to tie the suspect to the murder to present at the suspect’s bond revocation hearing. Investigators contacted ROCIC analytical staff and provided cell tower phone records already obtained for the suspect. The ROCIC staff plotted the cell phone tower locations and produced a detailed map, which provided enough evidence for the judge to revoke the suspect’s bond.

Calera Police Department
Equipment Services

Narcotics Trafficking: The Calera Police Department Narcotics Unit borrowed high-tech surveillance equipment from the ROCIC equipment staff to combat the illegal drug trade in its jurisdiction, resulting in 32 charges of distribution of a controlled substance, 21 charges of possession of a controlled substance, 3 charges of methamphetamine trafficking, 11 charges of possession of marijuana, and 16 charges of possession of drug paraphernalia. Seven search warrants were executed, and $2,880 in cash and five vehicles were seized. The use of ROCIC equipment has had a direct impact on the trafficking of illegal drugs in Calera.

Opelika Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Shoplifting: The ROCIC intelligence research staff identified the associate of a shoplifting suspect wanted for stealing merchandise at discount department stores up and down the East Coast. The associate was contacted and provided the true identity of the theft suspect. A warrant was obtained, and the suspect was subsequently arrested by the Opelika Police Department. Originally, the investigator obtained the suspect’s name by publicizing the surveillance photograph taken of her in the store. He used the name to search an online social media site and found the name of the associate, who had been in the Opelika store at the time when the main suspect committed her crimes.

Opelika Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Counterfeit Bank Cards and Identity Theft: Opelika Police Department (OPD) investigators were notified by loss prevention officers that two suspects using counterfeit credit cards at their store in another Alabama city might be headed to Opelika. The OPD officers conducted surveillance at the local store and arrested one of the suspects in possession of 13 counterfeit credit cards. Investigators contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to obtain telephone numbers for the victimized account holders. All of the victims were contacted by police officers and advised to close their accounts. In another case involving a suspect with 20 counterfeit credit cards and several fake identity cards, the ROCIC staff provided numbers to contact and notify the victims. In some cases, the driver’s licenses were returned to the victims.

The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) mission is to assist local, state, federal, and tribal criminal justice agencies by providing adaptive solutions and services that facilitate information sharing, support criminal investigations, and promote officer safety.

The Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC), one of the six RISS Centers, began providing services to its members in 1973.

The ROCIC region consists of:
• Alabama
• Arkansas
• Florida
• Georgia
• Kentucky
• Louisiana
• Mississippi
• North Carolina
• Oklahoma
• Puerto Rico
• South Carolina
• Tennessee
• Texas
• U.S. Virgin Islands
• Virginia
• West Virginia

Since 1973, the number of criminal justice agencies benefiting from ROCIC services has grown to more than 2,100 agencies.

www.riss.net/Impact

Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force
Equipment Services

Narcotics Trafficking: The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force requested the use of a covert camera from the ROCIC equipment staff, which proved useful in its investigation of a high-traffic drug distribution location. The use of the camera enabled officers to monitor traffic entering and leaving the residence of the target, as well as develop a pattern of the target’s schedule. Knowing this schedule was useful in the tactical planning of operations with respect to officer safety. The camera also provided officers with the layout of the residence when it was time to serve a search warrant. Ultimately, the case resulted in the arrests of two suspects for trafficking in heroin and meth and the seizure of 22 grams of heroin, 18 grams of methamphetamine (ice), 3.7 grams of marijuana, 3.4 grams of hydrocodone, 6 grams of codeine, and two handguns.

Mountain Brook Police Department
Information Sharing Services

Recovery of Stolen Property: The Mountain Brook Police Department (MBPD) used ROCIC’s extensive network of law enforcement contacts to identify the owners of an expensive set of golf clubs that was recovered during a robbery investigation. The MBPD investigators had exhausted all avenues within normal channels, with no results, before turning to ROCIC. Within hours of contacting ROCIC to disseminate information to agencies in the vicinity, the victim was identified, and the stolen property returned to its rightful owners. In addition, the perpetrator of the theft was arrested.

Covington County Sheriff’s Office
Information Sharing Services

Currency Counterfeiting: ROCIC disseminated an intelligence request for the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office (SRCSO) in Milton, Florida, regarding suspects passing counterfeit $100 bills in the Florida Panhandle. Within ten minutes, ROCIC received a response from the Covington County Sheriff’s Office in Andalusia, indicating that it had the two pictured suspects in custody, along with a female coconspirator. ROCIC notified the SRCSO about the suspects. The suspects were subsequently identified, and a case was made. It was also learned that the suspects had passed ten counterfeit bills at a general store in McKenzie, Alabama, and were in possession of cocaine and marijuana when arrested in Covington County. The three suspects were from Montgomery, Alabama, and are believed to be responsible for several additional cases in Opp and Enterprise, Alabama, and other south Alabama and Florida Panhandle towns and cities. The SRCSO stated that the suspects were apprehended as a direct result of the bulletin being disseminated by ROCIC; otherwise, the case likely would never have been solved.