VIRGINIA

RISS Center- ROCIC

Virginia 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 Virginia, these leadership positions are held by:

Board Member:
Major Ricky Gardner
Bedford County Sheriff’s Office
(540) 586-4800

Board Proxy:
Chief Jeffrey W. Faries
Colonial Heights Police Department
(804) 520-9311

Fairfax City Police Department
Equipment Services

Scrap Metal Theft: An ROCIC tracking device provided to the Fairfax City Police Department (FCPD) led to the collection of evidence that resulted in the arrest of a suspect, who was believed responsible for at least one dozen cases of copper theft and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of commercial rooftop air-conditioning systems. A Global Positioning System (GPS) vehicle tracker was obtained and installed on the suspect’s vehicle, and the suspect was tracked for several days. Police officers determined additional burglary locations—not only in the city but throughout the county— plus the suspect’s routine was established, including the sale of stolen metal at a salvage yard and traveling out of state to buy narcotics. The suspect was initially arrested and served with three warrants, but four additional warrants were served after interviews were conducted, along with a search of his vehicle. Another case is pending analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence. The FCPD is looking at a dozen cases of theft for this suspect, and the Arlington Police Department is investigating other possible connections. The suspect was charged with multiple counts of burglary, grand larceny with the intent to sell, possession of burglary tools, and unlawful entry and petit larceny.

In FY2017—

111 Member Agencies
17,959 Sworn Personnel Served
482 Officers and Personnel Trained
22,668 Intelligence Database Inquiries
260 Intelligence Database Hits
665 Requests for Information on 1,269 Targets
9,387 Analytical and Forensic Products Delivered
51,090 Bulletins and Special Reports Disseminated
42 Pieces of Investigative Equipment Loaned

Waynesboro Police Department
Information Sharing Services

Credit Card Fraud: The use of ROCIC/RISS information sharing services allowed the Waynesboro Police Department (WPD) to link suspects, who had placed a credit card skimmer on a local automated teller machine (ATM), to a Romanian multistate organized criminal enterprise. Initially, after ROCIC disseminated a bulletin depicting surveillance photos of the suspects in Waynesboro, a detective in Baltimore, Maryland, noted that the suspects had used credit card information to obtain cash in his jurisdiction. Newspaper articles were written about similar cases. Months later, a sergeant with the Cape Coral, Florida Police Department noticed the newspaper accounts on the Internet and linked the suspects to fraud cases in his jurisdiction. ROCIC disseminated updated information, leading investigators with the Staunton Police Department to identify the suspects as those acting in their jurisdiction. With the cases tentatively linked, the investigations in Waynesboro, Staunton, and Baltimore were turned over to the United States Secret Service (USSS) for further investigation. Soon afterwards, the USSS and the Maryland State Police jointly served search and arrest warrants in Baltimore that resulted in three arrests for access device fraud (two federal and one state) and the seizure of 2 laptop computers, 3 magnetic stripe re -encoding machines, skimmer assembly tools and components, nearly 80 credit/debit cards, and more than $4,000 in U.S. currency. It was determined that the Romanian organized crime group had used information obtained from the skimmers to fraudulently withdraw about $400,000 in cash in multiple states. The WPD noted that its case never would have been linked to this criminal operation without the information sharing services of ROCIC.

Testimonials

“The updated photograph provided by ROCIC helped us to eliminate an innocent person as a potential suspect.”

—Petersburg Police Department

“The video and audio obtained through the use of the loaned equipment allowed us to approach one of the suspects and get the suspect to cooperate with the investigation, which is ongoing. The ROCIC program is a huge help to our organization.”

—Portsmouth 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 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

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration–Roanoke
Intelligence Research Services

Drug Trafficking: Through extensive use of the ROCIC intelligence research staff, a multiyear federal investigation of methamphetamine (meth) traffickers in four states resulted in the conclusion of the operation, with the arrests of six major drug dealers, who are now awaiting federal prosecution, and the seizures of 11 pounds of meth, 2 pounds of marijuana, and 3 ounces of cocaine, plus $108,000 in cash and assets. The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation was initiated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Roanoke Resident Office and quickly identified the source of the meth as a Mexican national. The subsequent 12 -month investigation identified numerous local and regional drug traffickers (pound- and ounce-level) throughout Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Mexican source for the larger amounts of meth engaged a network of conspirators and couriers in various states to transport the drug shipments to Virginia for distribution. The investigative techniques used by the task force included controlled drug purchases, multiple and ongoing surveillance teams, pole cameras, confidential informants, and aerial surveillance. Eventually, the complicated nature of the investigation warranted the approval of a groundbreaking DEA-initiated Federal Title III wiretap within the Western District of Virginia. Multiple state, federal, and local agencies participated in the surveillance and subsequent exploitation of the intelligence data discovered via the wiretap. To effectively monitor and track the activities of the several dozen linked suspects, the DEA utilized the services of the ROCIC staff. As demonstrated in numerous previous DEA investigations, ROCIC’s work product is a vital part of the connectivity aspect of complex drug investigations. The ROCIC staff used baseline biographical suspect information provided by DEA intelligence analysts to provide the DEA–Roanoke Office with personal, family, business, and photographic material that was used in crafting surveillance packages for all of the allied investigative agencies. On many occasions, the success of a surveillance operation critical to the OCDETF investigation hinged on the surveillance package material provided by ROCIC and the real-time results from mobile inquiries made to ROCIC by the field surveillance units. With the assistance of ROCIC, the Title III/OCDETF dismantled the organization, and numerous collateral suspects are still pending indictment at the state and local level.

Christiansburg Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC): A female investigator with the Christiansburg Police Department (CPD) was posing online as an 11-year old girl, chatting with a sexual predator in his forties, who was sending nude photos of himself. The man gave his name and partial birth date, enough information for the ROCIC intelligence research staff to identify and locate the suspect. The Florida Fusion Center learned about the suspect through ROCIC and contacted the CPD. It was discovered that several other Florida agencies also had the suspect on their radar. Police officers obtained and served warrants on the suspect, charging him with four felony counts of online solicitation of a minor. Child pornography was also found on his computer, and a charge was placed in Florida for possession of child pornography.

Portsmouth Police Department
Equipment Services

Drug Trafficking: The Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) borrowed sophisticated ROCIC surveillance equipment to continue its undercover drug investigation. The agents had been purchasing half-ounce quantities of heroin and fentanyl from several suspects when their equipment faltered. Utilizing the ROCIC equipment, undercover officers documented the purchases of four ounces of heroin and fentanyl and one ounce of cocaine and convinced one suspect to cooperate with authorities. The DEA is partnering with the PPD in the investigation, so the cases will be prosecuted in federal court. The PPD stated that the ROCIC equipment was a huge help to them, and it also enhanced officer safety.

Petersburg Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Animal Abuse: The ROCIC intelligence research staff was instrumental in providing information that led to the apprehension of a suspect and fugitive accused of the horrific torturing and killing of three puppies at his mobile home residence in Petersburg. The puppies had an adhesive on their muzzles and bodies and their stomachs contained medications, insecticide, and firecrackers. The suspect eluded police until a detective with the Petersburg Police Department contacted ROCIC to run a background check, which provided a Florida address for the suspect’s girlfriend. The detective was able to persuade the suspect to return to Petersburg and turn himself in to authorities. He was charged with three counts each of killing livestock and animal abuse. The investigator noted that officers would still be looking for the suspect without the use of ROCIC services.

Christiansburg Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

ICAC: An undercover investigator with the Christiansburg Police Department (CPD) obtained the cell phone number of an adult sexual predator in Pennsylvania and relayed the number to ROCIC. The ROCIC intelligence research staff identified the suspect, who was arrested in Pennsylvania by the appropriate authorities. In addition to admitting to the online solicitation of a minor and to child pornography, the suspect was accused of molesting his nine-year-old niece, taking nude photos of her, and disseminating the photos over an online video service.

Winchester Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Grand Larceny: ROCIC was instrumental in locating a stolen handgun and returning it to its rightful owner. The Winchester Police Department (WPD) investigated a report of a handgun stolen from a residence. The homeowner pointed to his daughter’s boyfriend as the likely suspect. The boyfriend admitted to the theft and stated that he sold the handgun to a guy whom he knew only by his first name. The ROCIC intelligence research staff was contacted for assistance, and the ROCIC staff identified the buyer. ROCIC provided a photo of the subject, who was verified as the buyer by the boyfriend in a photo lineup. The WPD obtained a search warrant for the subject’s residence in neighboring West Virginia. The resident was located and interviewed. He admitted to having received the handgun from the suspect in exchange for marijuana but said that he had since traded it to someone to whom he owed money. That individual was located, and the handgun was recovered. The boyfriend was charged with grand larceny and convicted.

Petersburg Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Suspect Elimination: Two men and two women worked together to rob an elderly man at a Petersburg motel. The investigation quickly led to the arrest of one of the females. She implicated another subject as the other female suspect and the subject’s cousin as one of the male suspects. Officers with the Petersburg Police Department contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff for a more recent photograph of the second female suspect. The photo was used in a lineup, and neither the victim nor the suspect in custody could identify the female in the photo or her male cousin. As a result of ROCIC’s assistance, two innocent persons were eliminated as suspects in the robbery case.

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office
Equipment Services

Drug Trafficking: The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received citizen complaints of possible drug activity at a local residence, where a large number of vehicles were observed coming and going. Investigators contacted ROCIC to borrow a sophisticated video surveillance system to covertly observe and record the criminal activity. After confirming the reported activity and identifying an opportune moment, the investigator and backup deputies initiated a voluntary knock-and-talk interview at the residence and was met at the front door by a father and a son and the strong odor of marijuana smoke. After some discussion, the investigator received consent to search the residence. The son went to his bedroom and surrendered a quantity of marijuana and marijuana wax, also known as butane hash oil, along with drug distribution paraphernalia (marijuana grinders, a scale, plastic baggies, and documentation). The evidence was seized and sent to the forensics laboratory for analysis. With lab confirmation, the suspect faces felony drug possession and distribution charges.

Christiansburg Police Department
Intelligence Research Services

Grand Larceny: The Christiansburg Police Department (CPD) investigated the theft of tools from a truck. The CPD investigator obtained the suspect’s vehicle tag number from a local bank’s surveillance video footage and contacted the ROCIC intelligence research staff to run the out-of state tag. The ROCIC staff produced a name and a local address, along with identifying information. The investigator located the suspect and arrested him for grand larceny.