FLORIDA

RISS Center- ROCIC

Florida 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 Florida, these leadership positions are held by:

Board Secretary:
Colonel Donna Lusczynski
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
(813) 247-8271

Board Proxy:
Major Louis Giampavolo
Polk County Sheriff’s Office
(863) 298-6200

Highlands County Sheriff’s Office
Audio/Video Services

Homicide: Detectives with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting at a nightclub that resulted in the death of a male victim. A suspect was immediately identified. The physical evidence included a surveillance video from the nightclub. Because of the poor quality of the video, the detectives contacted ROCIC for assistance in enhancing the quality of the video. The ROCIC audio/video staff enhanced the surveillance video so that it could be used for evidentiary purposes. Based on the ROCIC-enhanced video and witness testimony, the defendant was charged with murder. At trial, state prosecutors had the ROCIC staff appear in court to present testimony regarding the enhancement of the surveillance video. The ROCIC staff testified at the trial and was immediately certified as an expert witness by the trial judge. Although the trial jury did not vote for a conviction, the state attorney commented that without ROCIC’s assistance in enhancing the surveillance video, it would have been much more difficult to bring the case to trial. The prosecutor commended ROCIC for its thorough, efficient, and expert work in improving the evidentiary value of the surveillance video. Additional charges are pending against the defendant. The ROCIC-enhanced video will most likely play a role in those subsequent criminal charges.

In FY2017—

133 Member Agencies
56,339 Sworn Personnel Served
41,832 Intelligence Database Inquiries
351 Intelligence Database Hits
1,211 Requests for Information on 11,024 Targets
2,582 Analytical and 26 Forensic Products Delivered
120,560 Bulletins and Special Reports Disseminated
57 Pieces of Investigative Equipment Loaned

Bay County Sheriff’s Office
Intelligence Research Services

Investment Fraud: The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has three investigators working full-time on major fraud cases, including an investment scam involving the so-called North American Football League. One local investor lost $45,000 and another one lost $150,000. Including victims in several other states, the scam is believed to be responsible for losses in excess of one million dollars. The ROCIC intelligence research staff uncovered information leading to the identification and location of the primary suspect in Tennessee, along with his female companion and coconspirator. The two suspects face charges brought by the Florida State Attorney’s Office, 14th Judicial District, and the United States Attorney’s Office, including swindling over $50,000; first-degree grand theft of $100,000 or more; and obtaining money by trickery. The criminal intelligence developed by ROCIC was of great assistance in locating the perpetrators and in developing the case.

Testimonials

“This case is an example of the many successes of ROCIC and the RISS Program, as both suspects were identified and charged as a direct result of your distributing the bulletin, without which our cases would likely have never been solved.”

—Santa Rosa 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

Santa Rosa 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, 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, Alabama, 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.

Wilton Manors Police Department
Analytical/Intelligence Research Services

Narcotics Trafficking: Detectives with the Wilton Manors Police Department investigated a heroin trafficking ring operating in Wilton Manors. The detectives contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to assist in developing profiles of the narcotics traffickers who were involved in the organization. With those results and using other investigative techniques, the detectives developed the probable cause to secure a search warrant. Upon execution of the search warrant, the police seized 16 ounces of heroin and 1 kilogram of methamphetamine. The seizure led to the arrests of four suspects in the drug trafficking organization. In the followup investigation, the detectives contacted the ROCIC staff to develop exhibits for the prosecution of the case. ROCIC conducted phone-toll analysis, created link-analysis charts, and produced cell phone tower maps for each suspect. Two of the defendants have pled guilty to narcotics trafficking charges and are awaiting sentencing. The remaining two defendants are scheduled for trial. The exhibits produced by ROCIC will be presented to the jury at the trial in furtherance of a successful prosecution.

Gulf Breeze Police Department
Information Sharing Services

Aggravated Robbery: Two suspects, a man and a woman, were identified and apprehended for committing aggravated robberies in Gulf Breeze, Florida; Slidell and Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana; and Gulfport, Mississippi. The ROCIC staff assisted in tying these four instances together when they were asked by the Gulfport Police Department to disseminate a bulletin regarding two unidentified suspects who had assaulted and robbed an elderly woman outside a local discount department store. The victim, who was robbed of her purse, required hospitalization for her injuries. The bulletin contained images of the suspect’s vehicle. The next day, ROCIC received a bulletin from the Gulf Breeze Police Department detailing a similar crime. The images of the suspect’s vehicle matched the photos from the Gulfport robbery. Further investigation determined that a third robbery had occurred the following day in Slidell, and a fourth robbery in Tangipahoa Parish was also linked to the suspects. The female suspect was identified, and ROCIC’s investigation of her social media sites resulted in the identification of the male suspect. Gulfport police officers obtained arrest warrants for the suspects, who were subsequently located and arrested in Pennsylvania. Extradition to Mississippi is pending. Additional robbery charges are expected in Louisiana and Florida.

Palm Bay Police Department
Analytical Services

Homicides: The ROCIC analysis of call and text message logs from the victim’s cell phone in one homicide case and from the suspect’s cell phone in another homicide case greatly assisted investigators with the Palm Bay Police Department (PBPD) in preparing for their respective trials. With the volume of undecipherable data converted into easily readable formats, investigators were able to compile critical conversations between the suspect and the victim that were used in the interviews with the involved parties. In fact, the ROCIC analytical staff discovered more information from the devices than the investigators even knew existed. With ROCIC assistance, investigators created strong cases with which to go to trial against the murder defendants. As a small agency, the PBPD can rely on analytical resources provided by ROCIC, allowing them to concentrate on other aspects of the investigation.

North Port Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Residential Burglary: The North Port Police Department (NPPD) investigated a series of residential burglaries and developed a prime suspect for the crimes, as well as potential witnesses. The suspect did not reside in the local jurisdiction, so the crime analyst with the NPPD contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to obtain an out-of-state driver’s license photograph. The witness in the case made a positive identification of the suspect from the photo. After securing probable cause, the detective obtained an arrest warrant, and the suspect was taken into custody and charged with residential burglary. The NPPD analyst noted that the ability to use ROCIC to obtain out- of- state driver’s license photos is a valuable service for an agency in a jurisdiction with a transient population.

Pinecrest Police Department
Analytical Services

Grand Theft Auto: The Pinecrest Police Department investigated multiple cases of luxury automobiles being stolen and then stripped for their parts. A prolific career criminal in the vicinity was developed as a suspect for the thefts, but the lead investigator was unable to establish enough probable cause to the satisfaction of prosecutors for an arrest. The suspect’s cellular telephone call records were obtained and sent to the ROCIC analytical staff for phone-toll analysis and cell tower mapping. The data analysis and cell phone tower maps provided by ROCIC put the suspect in the vicinity of the auto thefts and proved to be the final piece of the puzzle needed to establish probable cause for an arrest. According to the investigator, without the assistance of ROCIC, he would not have been able to establish sufficient probable cause for an arrest in this case.

Milton Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Homicide: The Milton Police Department (MPD) investigated a homicide and contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to obtain addresses. The ROCIC staff provided addresses not known by the MPD, which led to the location of the suspect. The suspect is considered the main player in the homicide case. The intelligence from ROCIC has led to four arrests in the ongoing investigation.

Fort Walton Beach Police Department
Equipment Services

Drug Trafficking and Prostitution: The Fort Walton Beach Police Department borrowed ROCIC surveillance equipment to conduct an undercover operation targeting prostitution and narcotics. Such crimes can pose especially large issues for Fort Walton Beach, being a vacation destination. The ROCIC equipment documented the prostitution sting operation for subsequent prosecution and added a layer of enhanced officer safety. Five female suspects were arrested for engaging in prostitution through the use of an escort service website. Some of the suspects were also charged with narcotics offenses and/or had outstanding warrants. The narcotics seized as a result of the operation included Suboxone, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, cocaine, and cannabis.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
Intelligence Research Services

Aggravated Assault: The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) investigated a subject from South Carolina―one of three suspects who allegedly fired a weapon into an occupied vehicle. Investigators had no records or photographs of the out- of- state suspect, who also was not listed in the National Crime Information Center/Florida Crime Information Center databases. Less than an hour after being contacted by the ECSO, the ROCIC intelligence research staff provided a South Carolina driver’s license photo so that one of the victims could positively identify the suspect. The suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Hollywood Police Department
Equipment Services

Residential Burglary: Detectives with the Hollywood Police Department (HPD) investigated a series of residential burglaries committed by the same crew over a two-year period. ROCIC electronic surveillance equipment was loaned to the HPD, and the devices were installed at a residence that was believed to be the next target of the burglars. The perpetrators did not disappoint. Using evidence recorded by the equipment, the HPD filed 81 counts in circuit court against the two suspected burglars, charging them with racketeering, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conspiracy, tampering with evidence, and dealing in stolen property.

Miami Beach Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Burglary: Detectives with the Miami Beach Police Department investigated the burglary of an occupied vessel docked at a local marina. From the marina surveillance video, the lead detective obtained a positive identification of the suspect but did not know the suspect’s whereabouts. He contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff for assistance, and the ROCIC staff determined that the suspect had a military affiliation. Utilizing networking contacts with the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the ROCIC staff acquired the last known address for the suspect and other useful investigative intelligence information. A warrant has been obtained for the suspect’s arrest.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
Intelligence Research Services

Grand Theft: The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) works with the ROCIC intelligence research staff on a regular basis with great success. In one instance, an investigator with the ECSO requested a Mississippi driver’s license for a suspect in a grand theft case, which was quickly supplied. An identification was made and a warrant was obtained, because of the license information. In another case, investigators needed a photo of a missing elderly person. The photo was supplied by ROCIC in a timely manner, which aided in the quick location of the missing person. In a third case, the suspect was identified through research and the Tennessee driver’s license photos supplied by ROCIC. Through the assistance of ROCIC, investigators identified the suspect and, ultimately, disposed of the case. Because of the availability of such resources, ROCIC has become an integral part of the agency’s daily intelligence work.