KNOXVILLE — Eighteen investigators from across the U.S. have completed a four-week academy on cybercrime investigation at the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC).
LEIC’s Center for Cybercrime Investigation Training, through its Cybercrime Investigation Academy, teaches local and state law enforcement personnel the latest methods, resources and technologies needed to investigate cybercrimes, or crimes in which computers are involved. Cybercrimes range from child exploitations and network intrusions to online fraud activities.
The Cybercrime Investigation Academy prepares investigators for the rigors of conducting such investigations by exposing them to a number of a different tools and resources. The academy brings in experts in computer crime investigations and provides participants with hands-on, scenario-driven learning opportunities. After finishing the academy, investigators know how to trace an IP address, begin an investigation based on information in an e-mail header, and properly handle a computer at a crime scene.
Detective Doug Shanks of the Sevierville (Tenn.) Police Department volunteered to serve as one of the instructors for the academy, at no cost to LEIC or the participants. Sevierville Police Chief Don Myers said he asked Shanks to offer his services because he believes cybercrime is a growing problem and that law enforcement agencies need to stay ahead of these criminal activities.
Just a few days after completing the 2007 Cybercrime Investigation Academy, one of the participants solved an online fraud case in which a woman lost $1,700. After meeting a person through an online dating service, she sent a man $1,700. He then sent her $4,400 in forged money grams, intending for her to deposit the funds into a specified checking account so she could write him a check. The investigator intercepted the money grams and knew how to trace the information and find the sender in Nigeria.
“We saved her some money and located the source of the suspect quickly,” the investigator said. “It would have been only a guess in the past.”
October graduates of the Cybercrime Investigation Academy were:
• Brian Asburn, Hamilton County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office
• Carl Conway, Elkhart (Ind.) Police Department
• Jeff Flinchum, Greensboro (N.C.) Police Department
• Joey Gallegos Sr., New Mexico State Police
• Jeff Griggs, Cleveland (Tenn.) Police Department
• Darrell LaRiviere, Germantown (Tenn.) Police Department
• Damon Lowe, Henry County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office
• Dennis Malott, Savannah-Chatham (Ga.) Metropolitan Police Department
• Jeffery S. Manis, Sevier County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Department
• Lauralynn Mays, Volusia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office
• Alan McDearmond, Hartselle (Ala.) Police Department
• David Pinkerton, Gibson County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office
• Pete Ritchie, Gallatin (Tenn.) Police Department
• John C. Romano, Lynchburg (Va.) Police Department
• Dewayne Scoggins, Bradley County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office
• Rob Welch, Alaska State Troopers
• Angela Womack, Alaska State Troopers
• Jeff L. Young, Washington County (Neb.) Sheriff’s Office
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