LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Aug. 18, 2015) - Jared Fogle stole headlines around the world this week, but for local law enforcement fighting cyber crimes every day, he’s just another case.
FOX59 saw the raid on Fogle’s home and him walking out of the court room Wednesday. But what we didn't see was the weeks of hard work by investigators who fight to find child predators every day.
“This investigation was handled the same way any other crimes against children investigation is handled. Where you're going to gather evidence, you're going to assess that evidence, and you're going to make meaning out of that,” said Fogle case investigator, Indiana State Police Lieutenant Chuck Cohen.
This work happens everywhere, every day.
“These cases are being investigated. They’re being investigated effectively and they're being prosecuted,” said Cohen.
Take for instance the High Tech Crimes Unit, a part of the Lafayette Police Department; a team of tech savvy experts working with hard drives, cell phones, and computers to prevent child predators from striking online.
“We’ve had plenty of cases where it starts out as a possession of child porn case and turns into an actual child molest case,” said Detective Paul Huff of the Lafayette Police Department.
The team works with the Purdue University Cyber Forensics Department, state police, and others, to create a non-stop attack to a never ending crime.
Technology is constantly changing, making the job for this team, even harder.
“We’re constantly having to educate ourselves. We’re lifelong learners for that reason. It’s not like we finish analyzing a device and we’re done with it, because that device is always going to change,” said Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar, Purdue Assistant Professor of Computer Information Technology.
So while high profile cases steal the headlines, the High Tech Crimes Unit is fighting on the front lines, every day.
“Finding ways that we can assist law enforcement; what are their needs? Are there things we can be doing on the back end? Trying to figure out ways to get in to different computer devices that maybe they’re having a difficult time with. Technology is always changing,” said Seigfried-Spellar.
The specialized unit will go through hundreds of devices including cell phones, computers, and hard drives every year.