ARKANSAS

RISS Center- ROCIC

Arkansas 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 Arkansas, these leadership positions are held by:

Board Member:
Sheriff Rodney Wright
Saline County Sheriff’s Office
(501) 303-5609

Board Proxy:
Chief Hayes Minor
Rogers Police Department
(479) 986-3655

Pope County Sheriff’s Office
Analytical Services

Double Homicide: The Pope County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into a double homicide. During the investigation, numerous interviews were conducted and statements were obtained. Two persons were identified as potential suspects. Pope County investigators obtained search warrants for the cell phone records of the suspects. They contacted the ROCIC analytical staff for assistance with interpreting the data and producing a map, using the phones’ Global Positioning System (GPS) data, that might indicate where the suspects were located at a particular point in time. Once the ROCIC staff had created and returned the maps, the investigators were able to unequivocally prove that the suspects were in and near the area of the homicides during the time frame in which they were believed to have occurred. Currently, the investigative team is reviewing the case files in an effort to more closely examine other details that might coincide with data revealed from the ROCIC analytical results. The maps will be instrumental in the prosecution of the suspects, and the prosecuting attorney is very impressed with their quality.

In FY2017—

109 Member Agencies
12,043 Sworn Personnel Served
482 Officers and Personnel Trained
3,264 Intelligence Database Inquiries
164 Analytical and 37 Forensic Products Delivered
30,096 Bulletins and Special Reports Disseminated
31 Pieces of Investigative Equipment Loaned

Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office and Heber Springs Police Department
Analytical Services

Homicide: Nearly three decades ago, the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office and the Heber Springs Police Department opened an investigation into the disappearance and possible murder of a local resident. In spite of months and then years of actively investigating the case, no arrests were ever made. Five years ago, a similar disappearance was reported, and the investigation led authorities to believe that the two homicides were related. During both investigations, statements and interviews were obtained using microcassette recorders, since this was the practice at the time. No verbatim transcripts had been produced, and investigators could not locate any state or federal crime lab that could replicate the interviews onto modern media. ROCIC was contacted to reproduce the audio recordings onto stable digital video discs (DVDs) and enhance the quality of the recordings in the process. Subsequent reviews of the recordings revealed new evidence to investigators and led them in a new direction. Once again, ROCIC proved to be the only agency with the resources to get the job done.

Testimonials

“The equipment that ROCIC loaned to us was obviously essential to the cases that we have made. Without it, we would have no evidence available to help bolster our cases against two fugitives, who were wanted for felony narcotics distribution.”

—Logan County Sheriff’s Office

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

Craighead County Sheriff’s Office
Analytical Services

Abduction/Murder: The Craighead County Sheriff’s Office was contacted to investigate the disappearance by abduction of a 90 -year- old woman from her residence. Within a few days, the victim’sstolen vehicle was found at a hospital in Jonesboro. Surveillance footage showed a person parking the vehicle and walking northeast from the hospital. The ROCIC analytical staff was contacted to request a cell tower map that indicated the route of the suspect. The body of the victim was found in a cornfield, with a gunshot wound to the head. Cell tower maps linked the cell phone of the suspect to the site of the body. The suspect was arrested and confessed to the murder. After a week in court, the suspect was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. Investigators credited ROCIC with providing crucial assistance in the successful investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator in this brutal killing.

Arkansas Insurance Department
Analytical Services

Insurance Fraud: Investigators with the Arkansas Insurance Department, Insurance Fraud Investigations Division, began questioning the legitimacy of numerous traffic accidents that seemed to be related, with the same individuals involved. All of the accidents occurred in Central Arkansas, with personal injury expenses and property damages resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Investigators developed sufficient probable cause to arrest many of the suspects whom they had identified on numerous felony assault and fraud charges. As the cases were docketed for trial, the chief special fraud prosecutor contacted ROCIC to produce charts that would simplify the complexity of the cases and clearly demonstrate to a trial jury the improbability of a single person being involved in so many accidents. The ROCIC charts were so persuasive that the defense attorneys, after examining the charts for themselves, convinced their clients of the wisdom of accepting a plea deal rather than face a criminal trial, thus saving taxpayer dollars.

Rogers Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Bank Fraud: The Rogers Police Department (RPD) investigated the passing of nearly $100,000 worth of stolen checks at banks in several cities in northwest Arkansas using identification stolen during vehicle burglaries. The method of operation was clearly identified as another in a series of criminal activities by the notorious Felony Lane Gang (FLG) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Investigators identified the bank suspect but could not identify her handlers. After an inquiry was filed, the ROCIC intelligence research staff identified one of the FLG handlers, and the RPD applied for felony forgery warrants against her. The investigator said the identity of the gang member probably would have remained unknown if it were not for the resources of ROCIC.

Eudora Police Department
Equipment Services

Narcotics/Alcohol Trafficking: The Eudora Police Department (EPD) borrowed disguised body-camera devices and used the equipment in several felony undercover operations. The chief stated that the EPD had made two unrelated felony narcotics distribution arrests and an arrest in a local liquor bootlegging operation. Being able to discreetly record transactions using the ROCIC equipment was key to each of these cases. The police chief noted the high quality of the video recordings from the ROCIC equipment. Without the availability of the ROCIC equipment, the success of the investigations would be very much in doubt.

White County Sheriff’s Office
Intelligence Research Services

Fugitive Apprehension: The White County Sheriff’s Office contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to assist in locating a suspect, who was wanted for second -degree battery, a Class C felony. A local wealthy 80 -year- old woman had suddenly married a man less than half of her age. After a short period of wedded bliss, she gradually became aware that the sole interest of her new husband was to consume her considerable wealth. She finally told him that she was divorcing him, at which time he became enraged and beat her mercilessly. The suspect then fled the area. Investigators were unable to locate him until they contacted ROCIC for assistance. The ROCIC staff provided information, including addresses of possible relatives living in other locales. Using this information, deputies located and arrested the suspect at the home of a brother and charged him with felony battery. The suspect remains in custody, awaiting trial.

Ozark Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Child Pornography: After receiving a referral from the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program about an individual who was downloading child pornography from the Internet, the Ozark Police Department contacted ROCIC to obtain information. The ROCIC intelligence research staff identified a number of e -mail addresses that police officers had not yet associated with the suspect. Additional evidence was collected against the suspect, who was arrested and charged with felony child pornography trafficking in U.S. federal court. He pled guilty and is now serving five years in federal prison.

White County Sheriff’s Office
Intelligence Research Services

Felony Domestic Abuse: Investigators with the White County Sheriff’s Office attempted to locate a suspect in a felony domestic -abuse investigation but were unable to find any trace of the suspect. There was no sign of criminal history, no driver’s history, and no photographs. During the suspect’s marriage, he often claimed to his now-estranged wife that any trace of his background had been wiped by the government, following classified work that he had conducted while in the U.S. Army Special Forces. Whether this was true or not, deputies could not find a trace of him. The ROCIC intelligence research staff was contacted for assistance. Within a few hours, the ROCIC staff located a listing of the suspect in a noncriminal database and forwarded the information. Possible addresses for the suspect were identified by ROCIC and passed on to the investigating deputies. The deputies located the suspect at one of the addresses and arrested him, pursuant to the felony domestic -battery warrant.

Logan County Sheriff’s Office
Equipment Services

Narcotics Trafficking: Lacking any sort of audio/video equipment capable of recording certain undercover operations, investigators with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) turned to ROCIC for assistance. The investigators contacted the ROCIC equipment staff to borrow a body wire and repeater system. Through the use of the equipment, the LCSO made several felony arrests, including two different fugitives who were wanted on felony charges and several for felony narcotics distribution. The case officers stated that the surveillance equipment on loan from ROCIC proved to be essential to their investigations, which are still ongoing.