California Leadership for WSIN
In addition to federal monitoring, WSIN is governed by a Board of Directors composed of state and local representatives from each participating state. In California, these leadership positions are held by the following WSIN Board members:
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Office of the Attorney General
Post Office Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Law Enforcement Liaison Ron Ingels
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
210 West Temple Street, Room 17-1106
Los Angeles, CA 90012
WSIN and RISS a Key to Combating Human Trafficking
As part of the nationwide RISS network, WSIN delivers valuable products and services to assist law enforcement personnel in investigating and prosecuting major crimes, including those involving human trafficking organizations, at no cost.
RISS Criminal Intelligence Database (RISSIntel)—RISSIntel is a trusted database that connects law enforcement agencies regionally and throughout the nation that are investigating the same subjects involved in major crimes, including human trafficking. A key feature of RISSIntel is that it is not simply a “human trafficking database.” RISSIntel is a database that contains subjects for which there is criminal predicate relating to a multitude of crimes, thereby allowing law enforcement officers to “connect the dots” between the gang members and/or drug traffickers, who are also engaging in human and/or sex trafficking.
RISSafe Watch Center—RISSafe provides human trafficking task forces with a means to avoid blue-on-blue conflicts when they conduct surveillance, serve a search/arrest warrant, or perform other operations. RISSafe events are monitored on a 24/7/365 basis by personnel in a watch center. This ensures that law enforcement officers are continuously supported with immediate access to the RISSIntel database and RISSafe deconfliction and receive immediate notification of conflicts.
Specialized Equipment Program—WSIN loans a variety of specialized and custombuilt covert equipment to assist law enforcement officers in pursuing human trafficking and other criminal organizations.
Analytical Support—WSIN’s analytical assistance enhances investigations by organizing the information developed and presenting a variety of visual products that demonstrate the breadth of the human trafficking enterprise: the key players, including pimps, johns, recruiters, and victims; the geographical scope of the criminal organization; communication between key subjects; and chronological incidents.
“Without the assistance of RISS/WSIN, these operations would have continued for an unknown period of time.”
—Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office
“Thank you very much for all your help. 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.”
—California Department of Justice Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse
“We absolutely would not have been successful without the equipment that WSIN provided.”
——Sacramento Police Department
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 Western States Information Network (WSIN), one of the six RISS Centers, began providing service to its regional participating agencies in 1981. WSIN’s region consists of:
- Parts of Canada, Guam, and New Zealand
Since 1981, the number of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies benefiting from WSIN services has grown to include 1,552 agencies.
Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) began a yearlong investigation regarding the illegal cultivation and sales of marijuana. Almost a year into the investigation, a structure fire uncovered another marijuana growing operation with a link to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s suspect. The MCSO searched RISSIntel on the primary suspect and received a hit with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) case regarding a multiyear investigation involving human trafficking. The MCSO collaborated with DHS and identified multiple suspects and residences involved. After numerous search warrants, a total of 11 properties were searched, 15 suspects were identified, approximately $6,700 in cash and 14 firearms were seized, and over 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.
California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation, Special Operations Unit
The California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation, Special Operations Unit (SOU), Central California team partnered with the Merced Area Gang and Narcotic Enforcement Team, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to combat the Sureño street gangs plaguing the Central Valley. The investigators began identifying targets throughout Merced County and inputting that information into RISSIntel and the RISS Master Telephone Index in an effort to better understand the complexities of the targets. RISSafe was used to ensure deconfliction of all agencies involved. The investigators wrote 42 pen registers and obtained a court authorization to monitor 26 phone lines and social media accounts. According to an online resource, these intercepts were the first of their kind in the country. SOU coordinated with more than 500 law enforcement officers. The investigation resulted in the arrests of 66 individuals, and the seizure of 120 firearms; 9 pounds of methamphetamine; 3 pounds of cocaine, 87 pounds of marijuana, and $265,961 in U.S. currency. Pursuant to the collaboration with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, charges against those arrested include assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to traffic firearms and drugs, and possession of firearms and ammunition by prohibited persons for the benefit of the Merced County Sureños’ criminal enterprise. So far, at least 8 homicides and violent assaults have been solved, and 16 additional violent crimes in the planning stages were prevented.
Placer County Special Investigations Unit
The Placer County Special Investigations Unit borrowed a concealed audio and video recording device for a human trafficking case called “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.” The case resulted in 14 arrests and the seizure of 5.8 pounds of liquid codeine, valued at $13,000; 1 gram of methamphetamine; 1 Glock 42 handgun, and $4,208 in currency.
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation borrowed a custom-made recording device that was placed in an inmate’s cell to gather intelligence on the smuggling of narcotics into the prison. The case resulted in the seizure of 50 grams of methamphetamine, with a prison value of $18,000.
886 Member Agencies
27,311 Access Officers
571,440 Intelligence Database Inquiries
213,298 Intelligence Database Hits
138,931 RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System
(RISSafe) Events Submitted
1,691,705 Bulletins Disseminated
45,215,465 Law Enforcement Database Records Available Nationwide