Computer Forensics Labs

A domestic terrorist. A kidnapper. A corrupt politician. An identity thief. These are just of a few of those brought to justice with the help of Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories (RCFLs). There are 14 computer-forensics labs operating within the USA and labs planned in Orange County, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico will bring that total to 16.

How The Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories Operate

Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories provide start-up and operational funding, training, equipment, a director, and a network administrator; state, local, and other federal law enforcement agencies supply forensic examiners to staff the lab.

RCFLs examine digital evidence in all sorts of criminal and national security cases. And the cases come from a variety of law enforcement agencies—at the local, state, and federal level. Collectively during the year the network of labs:

  • Processed 1,756 Terabytes of Data
  • Conducted 4,524 Forensic Examinations
  • Assisted 591 Onsite Law Enforcement Operations
  • Trained 4,991 Law Enforcement Officers in Digital Forensics Techniques
  • In addition, Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories personnel examined 58,609 pieces of digital media of all kinds. The most popular being CDs and hard drives (about 17,500 each); floppy disks (10,982); DVDs (4,310); flash media (2,548); and cell phones (2,226). Other items included digital cameras, GPS devices, and video and audio tapes.

    RCFL Supported Investigations

    The Miami Valley (Ohio) RCFL helped the Columbus Joint Terrorism Task Force investigate Christopher Paul, who eventually pled guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against targets in Europe and the United States.

    The Kentucky RCFL examined media seized during a civil rights investigation into abuses against inmates by Fayette County Detention Center corrections officers.

    The Heart of America (Missouri) RCFL uncovered clues on a computer belonging to Lisa Montgomery, charged with the murder of a 23-year-old pregnant woman and the kidnapping of the woman’s unborn child.

    The New Jersey RCFL supported the investigation into corruption charges against former Newark Mayor Sharpe James by examining several computers related to the case.

    The Philadelphia RCFL uncovered documents and spreadsheets detailing the crimes of identify thief Jocelyn Kirsch and her partner, who stole personal information from friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

    (Information courtesy of the Department of Justice)

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