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On-going Investigations

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The follow on-going investigations are being provided expert digital forensics services by the RCFL Program.

Heart of America RCFL

   

3/8/12: Heart of America RCFL Supporting High-Profile Investigation Involving Priest Charged with Possessing Child Pornography — Former priest, Shawn Ratigan, 46, pleaded not guilty to multiple child pornography charges and will face a jury trial starting on June 4, 2012 in Clay County, Missouri. The Heart of America RCFL is providing investigators expert digital forensics expertise. In relation to the case, Bishop Robert W. Finn, head of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City, was charged on a misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse suspicions about Ratigan to authorities. He pleaded not guilty and entered into a five-year agreement with the Clay County prosecutor in which charges will not be filed if he reports all child sexual abuse within the county. Bishop Finn was the highest official in the Catholic church to ever face such charges — get the full story.


Intermountain West RCFL

1/30/12: Two Teenagers Arrested for Allegedly Plotting to Bomb Utah High School — The Intermountain West RCFL is supplying digital forensics expertise to investigators looking into a detailed plan allegedly hatched by Dallin Morgan, 18 and Joshua Hoggan, 16, to detonate a bomb during an assembly at Roy High School in Utah — get the full story.

 
   

12/21/11: Intermountain West RCFL Aids Homicide Investigation of Four-Year Old Ethan Stacy — A five-day preliminary hearing was set for March 19-23, 2012 for Nathaniel Sloop, who is accused of murdering Ethan Stacy, 4. Ethan's mother, Stephanie Sloop's preliminary hearing was cancelled with no rescheduling date at this writing. The couple waived their rights to a speedy trial and are charged with capital murder, child abuse and obstructing justice. If convicted, they could receive the death penalty. The Intermountain West RCFL (IWRCFL) is providing digital forensics expertise to investigators. Read the whole story.


Miami Valley RCFL

3/5/12: Miami Valley RCFL Aids Child Rape Investigation — An Ohio adoptive father is charged with raping three children under his care, and prostituting one of the boys. Investigators enlisted the expertise of the Miami Valley RCFL to examine digital evidence associated with the case — learn more.


New Jersey RCFL

   

6/30/11: State Grand Jury Indicts Three People for Crimes Against Children — Three South Jersey residents face multiple charges of sexual depravity and exploitation of children. The indictments were the result of an investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice — both are participating agencies in the New Jersey RCFL who is providing digital forensics expertise to investigators — learn more.

 

New Mexico RCFL

   

12/6/11: Texas National Guardsman Arraigned on Federal Child Sexual Exploitation Charges — NMRCFL Supports InvestigationClick here to read the FBI's news release.


Northwest RCFL

   

9/29/11: FBI Asks for Public's Help — Prosecutor's Death Remains a Mystery — The FBI, along with Attorney General Eric Holder, marked the 10-year anniversary of the passing of Thomas Crane Wales. Mr. Wales, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, was shot to death in his home — 10 years later, the motive for the killing remains unknown as does the assailant(s). The Northwest RCFL supported the investigation — click here to read the FBI's press release. Anyone with information about the Wales investigation is asked to contact the FBI on 800-CALL-FBI or send an email to walestips@ic.fbi.gov.


Orange County RCFL

8/9/12: Man Arrested After Recording Device Found in Elementary School — Angel Rojas Jr., a substitute custodian for the Santa Ana School District Police Department, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of installing a video recording device in an elementary school bathroom. Press accounts report that a female school volunteer discovered the device. During a search of Mr. Rojas' home, the Santa Ana School District Police found other electronic devices, according to a police spokeswoman. The Orange County RCFL is analyzing the recording found at the school. (Click here to read the school district press release.)

 
 

12/23/11: California Pharmacist Indicted for Providing Material Support to Terrorists — The Orange County RCFL is providing digital forensics expertise to investigators working on the case involving Oytun Ayse Mihalik, 39, of La Palma, California. A grand jury indicted Mihalik on federal charges of providing material support to terrorists for allegedly sending money to Pakistan to help fund attacks against American military personnel. A lawful permanent resident of the United States, Mihalik worked in Orange County as a pharmacist and was en route to her native Turkey when she was arrested at the airport. If convicted of all counts, Mihalik could face up to 53 years in prison — click here to read the FBI's Los Angeles Division's press release.

 
   

6/15/11: Authorities Seeking Public's Help with Crimes Against Children Investigation — Orange County RCFL Processing Digital Evidence Associated with Case — The Orange County District Attorney's Office, a participating agency in the Orange County RCFL, is seeking potential victims of Mandak Kahn Griffin of Cypress — read on.

 
   

6/13/11: College Student Faces Jail Time for Computer Crimes — Orange County RCFL Aiding Investigators — A 20-year old college student could spend the next six years in jail if found guilty of the 12 felony counts of computer access and fraud against him — learn more.


San Diego RCFL

3/29/12: Navy Officials and Government Contractors Plead Guilty to Corruption Charges — U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that four Navy officials and three defense contractors each pled guilty in a wide-ranging fraud and corruption scheme involving millions of dollars at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California. The San Diego RCFL provided digital forensics expertise to investigators. Click here to read the press release. The investigation is ongoing — anyone with information is asked to contact the Procurement Fraud Working Group hotline at 1-877-NO-BRIBE.

 

Silicon Valley RCFL

2/27/12: Trial Date Set for Woman Accused of Murdering Nursing Student — Giselle Esteban, 27, will go on trial starting September 17, 2012 for the murder of Michelle Le, 26, a nursing student who went missing on May 27, 2011. She entered a not guilty plea. The trial will begin one year after Michelle's remains were found in a remote area of Alameda. The Silicon Valley RCFL (SVRCFL) is supporting the investigation. Click here to get the whole story.


Western New York RCFL

2/27/12: Batavia Gambling Ring Busted — Authorities arrested two city firefighters and a chef for allegedly running a gambling enterprise in Batavia, New York which is located between the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. The staff at the Western New York RCFL are examining digital media lawfully seized as part of the investigation, which authorities believe will give them more details around the operation including the names of additional clients and/or suspects. Click here to read a news article about the arrests.

 
   

2/27/12: Batavia Gambling Ring Busted — Authorities arrested two city firefighters and a chef for allegedly running a gambling enterprise in Batavia, New York which is located between the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. The staff at the Western New York RCFL are examining digital media lawfully seized as part of the investigation, which authorities believe will give them more details around the operation including the names of additional clients and/or suspects. Click here to read a news article about the arrests.

 
   

2/27/12: Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges — Timothy Bek, a former substitute teacher for the West Seneca Central School District, pled guilty to producing and possessing child pornography. The Western New York RCFL provided digital forensics expertise to investigators — learn more.

Click here to watch a news video about Bek's arrest.