Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Texas Counterdrug Task Force cracks down on drug haven

Click photo for screen-resolution imageCourtesy story
 
HARLINGEN, Texas (12/31/13) - Chants of "Knock it Down, Knock it Down!" reverberated through a small Harlingen neighborhood in mid-December as the Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force's Operation Crackdown demolished another abandoned and unsafe structure. The house was known as a drug haven to the Harlingen Police Department. The structure was less than half a mile from the Sam Houston Elementary School.

Operation Crackdown is a program in which Texas Military Forces (TXMF) Soldiers and Airmen demolish structures associated with the drug trade. To date, the program has demolished close to 1,350 structures, varying from frame houses, to an abandoned warehouse, to a 40,000 sq./ft. former nursing home.

The task force is responsible for the coordination and organization of all Crackdown missions; they partner with cities across the state to help reduce drug use and other illegal activities.

Thirty-five fifth-grade students, from Sam Houston Elementary School gave a clear and unmistakable, "knock it down" command, ordering Texas Air Guard Tech. Sgt. Carl White Jr. to destroy the building.
Without hesitation, White smiled and gave a nod to the students as he slowly raised the boom and positioned the bucket over the roof of the small wood structure that just five years earlier had been called home to an elderly man.

The massive 45,000-pound excavator roared as its bucket cut through the wooden structure as easily as a hot knife through butter. First the roof collapsed then White folded the walls onto the structure as if he was giving an advanced origami demonstration. The structure collapsed into a pile of rubble and dust in under five minutes.

As dust rose up and debris settled to the ground, the children raised the hands and yelled with excitement, "cool," "this rocks" and "Wow, did you see that?"

Sam Houston Elementary School assistant principal Faustino Villanueva said the children's participation throughout the day helps them understand their involvement in the community.

"It's good because the children look up to the National Guard and service members in the armed forces," Villanueva said. "They see [the service members] and feel proud, confident and secure."

Fifth grade teacher Odilia Moreno said some structures close to the elementary school were unsafe and she worried her school children would one day be injured if they were to explore the abandoned and dilapidated structures.

Members of the Operation Crackdown team are selected for their heavy equipment operator skills, knowledge and experience. Sgt. Chris Mejia, 342nd Engineering Company, has assisted with Operation Crack for several years as a heavy equipment transport driver.

"This is our third mission in Harlingen. We love coming to Harlingen because the city has done all of the necessary preparation and welcomes us. During our missions in 2011 and 2012, we [tore down] 55 Harlingen structures. We plan on demolishing around 30 structures at 15 locations this trip," Mejia said.

Each mission requires up to a year to plan, coordinate and receive clearances for all the legal requirements to be completed. Each structure is required to undergo several safety and hazardous materials inspections and then receive written permission from the owners prior to demolition.

City Code Enforcement Manager Elida Mendoza said one of the time-consuming parts is tracking down the legal owner and receiving their written permission. Many of the houses have not been lived in for several years, family members move away and the properties became abandoned.

Once abandoned, the former homes can quickly become a place where drug users, drug dealers and gang members use them as a place to get high, execute drug transactions and participate in other illegal activities.

Mayor Chris Boswell also expressed support for Operation Crackdown.

"The partnership with the Texas National Guard has proven to be a successful tool in beautifying our community and fighting crime," the mayor said. "This partnership, along with the excellent job of our police department, has been a key factor in the significant reduction in crime we have experienced during the past two years."

Harlingen Police Department Cmdr. Miryam Anderson explained the police often deal with repeat calls for service to structures that are used for drug activity and criminal mischief.

"This resource [Operation Crackdown] helps police in reducing crime. This is a win, win situation for all. Our neighbors have been telling us how pleased they are with what the Texas Military Forces, the Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force and Operation Crackdown are doing," Anderson said.

Col. Suzanne Adkinson, commander of the Texas Joint Counterdrug Task Force, said the program is beneficial to local communities, as well as to service members.

"Operation Crackdown enhances military readiness by allowing Air and Army National Guard members to utilize their equipment in a 'real world' mission. This improves readiness for Texas Military Forces soldiers and airmen, while enhancing the public safety of citizens and their children by supporting communities in the demolition of structures used by the drug trade," Adkinson said.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Locating the Right Lawyer



Every day people are finding themselves faced with work related injuries, debilitating accidents, and other such events that are changing lives forever. These individuals are finding that the financial aspects of their accidents and injuries are overwhelming. Not only are they faced with surmounting medical expenses, lost wages, and severe limitations in their lives; they are forced to depend on others for daily responsibilities that they had been able to handle on their own up to these points in their lives. These changes can cause serious devastation to be experienced and rather quickly.

When you are the victim of an accident or injury that is the result of another person or entity’s negligence, demands, or malicious actions it is time to hire an Iowa lawyer that understands. Lawyers such as James Hoffman have invested significant time and energy into creating opportunities for victims that are faced with the need for legal representation for their Social Security Disability, Personal Injury, or Workers Compensation case. These legal experts understand the compassionate legal assistance that is necessary for their clients and the unique needs that each client requires.

When enlisting the help of an Iowa-based attorney for services related to personal or work related accidents or injuries, it is important to know that your lawyer understands the ins and outs of Iowa laws. James Hoffman and other attorneys that specialize in legal cases for social security disability, personal injury, or workers compensation claims are always seeking new changes that take place in the legal system that affect their practicing areas. Their dedication to staying current on information, regulations, and other legal aspects of the court system give them the power to keep their clients informed and provide superior legal services for safeguarding their clients’ rights.

James Hoffman and other note-worthy attorneys throughout Iowa understand the limitations their clients are faced with. You can trust that if you are unable to travel to the offices of these lawyers then they will come to you. These attorneys have visited their clients and their families in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, or even in their homes to offer consulting services. It is their focus to ensure that you receive fair treatment and the results that can alleviate some of the stresses that your injuries or limitations have placed on you and your loved ones. James Hoffman and other dedicated legal experts will always go the extra mile to show you that you are not facing these situations on your own – you do have compassionate support that will stand with you for as long as you need them.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Justice Academy



The March 1, 2014, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with Judge Hal Campbell, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Justice Academy.

Program Date:  March 1, 2014
Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Justice Academy

About the Justice Academy
The Justice Academy is a division of the Accrediting Commission for Law and Justice Education (aclje.org) which is a non-profit organization tasked with the mission of providing the law and justice professions with a wide range of educational support and services. The Justice Academy serves as a repository and portal for instructional programs and specialized training materials that are produced by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and the courts from throughout the nation and makes these educational assets available to the general law enforcement community, at no charge. The intention of this service is to support professional development, personal advancement, and departmental competency of the law and justice community, as well as to serve as a mechanism for the proliferation of exemplary training resources nationwide.

About the Guest
Judge Hal Campbell has been affiliated with law and justice education for over thirty years. He holds the title of Professor Emeritus from the California State University and has served as a member of the law and justice faculty for several national level universities including Course Chair of Criminal Law and Justice Studies for the University of Maryland. Dr. Campbell received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 1983 and specializes in the areas of public law and policy, criminal justice administration, criminology, and research methods/analysis. He was appointed to the bench by the Supreme Court of the State of Montana, Commission on Courts of Limited Jurisdiction as Sub-Judge of Justice and City Courts for Richland County, Montana. He is a retired veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, holding both sworn and civilian management positions during his affiliation with the department.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life.  Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.
           
About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years.  He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant.  He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University.  He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership.  Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One.  He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.



Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
909.599.7530

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Roll Call (Law Enforcement News Briefing)



Roll Call is a semi-monthly feature of American Heroes Radio which explores issues in law enforcement with Foster and Kannengieser. 

Program Date:  January 19, 2014
Program Time: 1600 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Roll Call (Law Enforcement News Briefing)

Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.) holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton.  He has completed his doctoral studies in business research. Raymond is a graduate of the West Point Leadership program and has attended law enforcement, technology and leadership programs such as the National Institute for Justice, Technology Institute, Washington, DC.

Raymond has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and, was a faculty advisor and chair of the Criminal Justice Program at the Union Institute and University.  He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, technology and leadership.  Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One.  He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement, criminal justice and leadership.  His first book, Police Technology is used in over 100 colleges and universities nationwide. He latest book, Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style has been adopted by several universities for course work in leadership; by several civil service organizations as required reading for promotion; and, has been well received in the wider market.

Michael J. Kannengieser is a retired New York City police officer who lives on Long Island, New York with his wife and two children. Michael worked as the Managing Editor for Fiction at The View from Here Magazine; a U.K. based literary publication. Currently, he is employed at a performing arts college as an Instructional Technology Administrator. He has been published at The View from Here, and in Newsday, a Long Island newspaper. Michael’s first novel, The Daddy Rock, a gripping police drama, was published by Decent Hill in 2012. Michael's new novel, Burning Blue, a dark, paranormal police drama is set to be released by Decent Hill on November 4, 2013.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Espionage to Murder: The First Cyber Detective



The January 18, 2014, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with retired Special Agent Jim Christy, Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Program Date:  January 18, 2014
Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Espionage to Murder: The First Cyber Detective

About the Guest
Jim Christy left the government in July 2013 after 42 years of public service and now started his own consulting firm, The Christy Group, LLC.  He has also partnered with eventPower to reincarnate the DoD Cyber Crime Conference into the U.S. Cyber Crime Conference.  Jim is a retired special agent that has specialized in cyber crime investigations and digital forensics for over 27 years with the Air Force Office of Special Investigation and Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3).  Jim retired in Nov 2006 as a Special Agent and immediately returned to the federal government and DC3 first as an IPA and later as an HQE (Highly Qualified Expert) senior appointed by the Secretary of the AF as the Director of Futures Exploration (FX) for the DC3. FX the DC3 innovation incubator was responsible for Communication outreach/marketing, cyber workforce development and strategic relationships with other government organizations, private sector, and academia. 

In May 2011, the Air Force graduated the first NCO’s for a new AF career field, Cyber Defense Operations, at Keesler AFB, MS.  The staff of the course honored Jim by presenting the top graduate of the class with the “Jim Christy Award”.  Jim was also selected to make the first presentation of the award and be the keynote speaker for the inaugural course.

In 2010, to fill a National void of qualified digital forensic examiners, Jim created the National Center for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) Program, a partnership between DC3 and academia.  CDFAE fosters the digital forensic field and encourages growth in a specific STEM field supporting the National Initiative Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Framework Domains.  CDFAE develops a partnership between academia and the government to establish standards and best practices for digital forensics practitioners, educators, and researchers to advance the discipline of Digital Forensics and increase the number of qualified professionals to meet the needs of law enforcement, counterintelligence, national defense and legal communities as well as critical infrastructure owners and operators.

In 2006, Christy created the DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge an international competition that in 2012 had 1,800 participants spanning 49 states and 53 countries. The exercises are designed to develop, hone, and engage participants in the fields of cyber investigation, digital forensics, and cyber security.  It is one of the first venues to employ crowd sourcing in “real world” mission focused solution development.

Jim has been asked by Mr. Jeff Moss and the Black Hat & Defcon organizers to create and moderate the “Meet the Fed” panel for approximately 12 years.  Jim brings together the current and former senior cyber government leaders for multiple panel discussions before the world’s largest hacker convention.

From Nov 2003 – Nov 2006, Special Agent Jim Christy, was the Director of the Defense Cyber Crime Institute (DCCI), DC3.  The DCCI is responsible for the research & development and test & evaluation of digital forensic and investigative tools for the DoD Law Enforcement and Counterintelligence community. 

From 17 Sep 2001 – 1 Nov 2003, Jim was the Deputy Director/Director of Operations, Defense Computer Forensics Lab, DC3. As the Dir of Ops for the DCFL he managed four sections with over 40 computer forensic examiners that supported Major Crimes & Safety, Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism, as well as Intrusions and Information Assurance cases for the Department of Defense.

Christy testified before a Florida Select Committee on Terrorism in Dec 2001 at their request, as a result of the 911 attack.

From May 1998 – Sep 2001, Jim was assigned to the Defense-wide Information Assurance Program, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control Communications and Intelligence (ASDC3I) as the Law Enforcement & Counterintelligence Coordinator and Infrastructure Protection Liaison. Jim testified before the Arizona State House of Representatives to advocate the creation of the first State Infrastructure Protection Center.

SA Christy served as the DoD Representative to the President’s Infrastructure Protection Task Force (IPTF) from Sep 1996 – May 1998.  The President signed Executive Order, 13010 on 15 Jul 96, creating IPTF to protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure from both physical and cyber attacks.

From 1986-1998, Jim was the Director of Computer Crime Investigations, and Information Warfare for AFOSI and established the first computer forensics lab in DOD which became the DoD Computer Forensics Lab at DC3.  In 1993, Jim conducted the first Joint Cyber Crime Training which included over 40 investigators from over 15 agencies which became the DC3’s Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy. AFOSI was the first LE agency anywhere in the world to create a Cyber Crime Unit in 1978.

Some of SA Christy’s notable firsts in Computer Crime Investigations:
1st civilian computer crime investigator in the U.S. Government
1st computer espionage investigation (Hanover Hacker Case), case agent
1st electronic surveillance of a standalone color PC
1st DoD investigator to go undercover on pedophile bulletin boards
1st to distribute wanted poster on the Internet (triple homicide case)
1st to develop forensic technique to recover data from cutup diskette (homicide investigation)
1st psychological profiling study of computer criminals program  (Project Son-of-Slammer)
1st to create the Air Force Computer Forensics Lab
1st to create a DOD Computer Forensics Lab
1st to create a DOD Computer Intrusion Squad
1st Joint DoD and government Cyber training
1st computer crime investigator to testify before the U.S. Senate
1st information security survey of private sector by U.S. Senate (authored)
1st to create government, private sector, academia, program to provide free education and awareness about the cyber threat to infrastructure owners and operators (Manhattan Cyber Project)
1st State Infrastructure Protection Center for Arizona
1st Cyber Crime Conference to support DoD Law Enforcement/Counterintelligence Agencies as well as, the IA & Legal communities-held annually for 12 years
1st Clearinghouse for Intelligence Media Exploitation (CHIME) to support digital media exploitation and sharing of results from media acquired in GWOT
1st Computer Forensics team to support Special Operations (Operation Iraqi Freedom)
1st Law Enforcement official to be awarded the AITP Distinguished Information Science Award
1st Digital Forensics Challenge to create new tools, techniques, and processes to solve ever-changing forensic challenges and share results with the community
1st Secure web portal for Law Enforcement to share Digital Forensics Intelligence in partnership with Oklahoma State Univ.
1st National Center for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) a partnership between government and academia focused on digital forensics standards
1st National High School Digital Forensics Clubs initiative

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life.  Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.
           
About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years.  He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant.  He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University.  He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership.  Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One.  He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.


Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
909.599.7530