Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force
The Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force (SMCCTF) encompasses the 13 counties in the southwest corner of Missouri. The major focus of the SMCCTF is the detection, investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of sexual predators who exploit children through the use of the Internet. Investigations may include Internet enticement of children, promotion and possession of child pornography, trafficking of children, terrorist threats such as plots of violence at schools, or other crimes consistent with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) standards and procedures.
The City of Joplin applied for and received grant funding for the SMCCTF and acts as the pass-through agency for this funding. Currently, three investigators are supported through these funds (Barry County deputy, Jasper County deputy, and a Cassville police detective). Also, with MO-ICAC Recovery Act funding, the Joplin Police Department employs a full-time computer forensic investigator. Currently there are five full-time investigators, one part-time investigator, and a sergeant assigned to the SMCCTF.
During 2012, the SMCCTF has partnered with the US Marshal’s Service who has agreed to assist the SMCCTF with making arrests and processing federal prisoners.
A total of 182 task force cases were opened in 2012, in addition to cases assigned from each TFO’s individual agencies. A 38% increase over 2011.
As a result of the above investigations, 41 persons were arrested on multiple State and Federal charges and 41 children were identified as victims, as a direct result of SMCCTF investigations. This is a 48% increase over 2011.
During 2012, the SMCCTF caused a total of 202 investigative subpoenas to be issued and executed 76 search warrants. This included 24 federal search warrants and 52 State search warrants. In comparison, in 2011, the SMCCTF caused 159 investigative subpoenas to be issued and executed 80 search warrants. This included 8 federal search warrants and 72 State search warrants.
2012 also brought numerous training opportunities for TFO’s. The task force sent six TFO’s to the National ICAC Conference in Atlanta, GA in April 2012. This training event is essential in the continuing education and re-certification of each TFO in the current investigative techniques of ICAC related investigations. During this training each TFO received numerous certifications such as Ares Investigations, eMule Investigations, Gnutella 2 Investigations and OS Triage to name a few.
TFO Roller completed the prestigious computer forensic examination certification course through the International Association of Computer Investigative Systems (IACIS).