Combined Effort Takes A "Byte" Out of Computer Crime
November 30, 2005
Livonia. Computer crimes investigators with the Michigan State Police (MSP) and the United States Secret Service have joined forces to increase turnaround time for computer forensic examinations.
While the MSP has conducted computer forensic examinations for state, county and local law enforcement agencies since 1999, technological advances, larger hard drives and increased criminal activity have outpaced the department’s ability to conduct timely forensic examinations. "Operation Michigan," supported by the U.S. Secret Service at no cost, will eliminate a 10-month backlog and promote faster turnaround for investigations.
"These investigations focus on identity theft, child pornography and fraud since these crimes can be easily committed with a few keystrokes on a computer," stated Captain Annemarie Gibson, commander of MSP Region II Special Investigation Division. "Ironically, technology has fashioned a whole new brand of crime but it’s good, old fashioned police teamwork that is tracking down these cyber criminals."
As part of "Operation Michigan," the U.S. Secret Service is providing special agents who are qualified computer forensic examiners. They will also bring advanced equipment capable of processing large amounts of data. The investigators will work at the MSP Region II Special Investigation Division in Livonia and will process evidence from across the state.
"With State Police and Secret Service working together, we are eliminating this backlog and devising strategies that will help to protect Michigan in the future," said Special Agent in Charge Leo Wisniewski, Detroit Field Office, U.S. Secret Service.
The two agencies began working together in mid-November and hope to have the project completed by mid-December.
Computer forensic examinations involve the collection and analysis of digital evidence through hard drive and Internet investigation. The MSP has Computer Crimes Units in Lansing and Livonia.
CONTACT: Detective Sergeant Tom Kish, MSP Computer Crimes Unit, 734-525-4492