Unit 6: Undercover Operations CJ293: Investigating Terrorism
Unit 6 Assignments Read (eBook): Chapters Extra Extra! Graded Work: -- Discussion Board (20 pts) -- Seminar (20 pts) -- Project (140 pts) 180 Points Total
Unit 6 Project (140 points) The investigative task force is a recent addition for law enforcement agencies to utilize to combat criminals and terrorism. Please create a 7-10 slide PowerPoint presentation that describes the role of the investigative task force. Provide an overview of the investigative task force Describe 3 factors that lead to the development of the task force Describe how it has evolved to meet the evolving terrorist
Seminar Topics: Tonight Undercover Operations
Scenario A police officer, wearing plain clothes, approaches a drug dealer on a street corner and purchases a small amount of cocaine. The officer then leaves and signals to other officers that he made the purchase. The drug dealer is arrested moments later by the other officers. Do these facts describe an undercover operation?
Undercover Operations Define “undercover” for law enforcement purposes
Undercover Operations For law enforcement purposes, undercover is an investigative technique in which a sworn law enforcement officer operates in a covert mode for the purpose of developing intelligence about illegal activities.
Undercover Operations Distinguish between an undercover operation and the use of an informant.
Undercover Operations Identify the advantages of the undercover technique compared to using an informant.
Undercover Operations An undercover operative is: – trained in investigations and is knowledgeable about the law – loyal to the department – honest – a partner in developing the investigation
Undercover Operations Identify the disadvantages of the undercover technique.
Undercover Operations Disadvantages: – Manpower- and resource-intensive – Dangerous – Risk of psychological harm – Risk of political indoctrination – Damage to personal life
Undercover Operations Identify the three different types of undercover operations
Undercover Operations Describe the “Limited Cover” operations. Give an example.
Undercover Operations Limited Cover: a very short encounter in which the investigator makes one or more brief contacts with the subject or other knowledgeable person for the purpose of developing intelligence or evidence Examples: – Attend a meeting – Engage in conversation – Visit a target location – Perform a controlled “buy” of narcotics Prep Work – Some advanced planning – False identification may be necessary
Undercover Operations In addition to gathering intelligence and evidence, a “limited contact” project can be used to: 1. Determine the viability of a long-term undercover project 2. Ascertain whether a particular person might be open to an official contact by a law enforcement officer 3. To augment a long-term project
Undercover Operations Describe a “semi-deep” undercover
Undercover Operations Semi-Deep Undercover: the undercover agent makes contacts in the target area with some degree of frequency but does not function on an around-the- clock basis. – Requires advanced planning – False identification (withstand scrutiny) – Background story (about agent, agent’s history, and daily routine)
Undercover Operations In a deep cover operation, the investigator joins the targeted subject or conspiracy on a full-time basis. – Most complex and sophisticated – Rare Essential “Do Nots” – No other police functions – Never extend activity into other illegalities
Undercover Operations What are some essential questions an agency must consider before beginning a semi-deep or deep cover operation?
Undercover Operations Have all other investigative techniques been exhausted Is it an emergency situation Is there a suitable person available to go undercover – Personality must be compatible with undercover work – Family life – Well-known as cop – Other specialized professional duties precluding undercover work (e.g., SWAT, hostage negotiator) – Avoid using “fringe” officers
Undercover Operations (Questions Cont’d) Is the department willing and able to make a handler available Can the department maintain complete security for the operations Can the department protect the undercover investigator Can the department support the undercover operation from a technological standpoint Is the department able to deal with the fallout – Officer and family may require a transfer to a new location after assignment if the officer and his/her family is in danger, or if ability to resume law enforcement officer has been compromised
Undercover Operations Creating an undercover project – Limited contact operation: a detailed proposal usually not required but approval from management may be necessary – Semi and Deep Undercover Project: usually require a detailed written proposal of the project requiring approval by agency’s management personnel What should be included in the written proposal?
Undercover Operations Contents of Written Proposal – description of the crime problem – outline of laws involved – History of the efforts made to resolve the problem to date – Reason for the proposed project – Statement from the departments legal counsel and prosecutor’s office approving of project and no foreseen problems of entrapment if project executed as planned – The proposed scenario for the creation and operation of the project: How UC will make contact with target How undercover operation will develop over time How long project will last, and how it will end How UC will be selected--desired traits and experience How will UC be backstopped (false id and other documentation Who else will be involved in the project (informants, other UC agents, private citizens) Detailed outline of anticipated expenses List of required personnel (sworn and unsworn) to support project
Undercover Operations – The proposed scenario for the creation and operation of the project: How UC will make contact with target How undercover operation will develop over time How long project will last, and how it will end How UC will be selected--desired traits and experience How will UC be backstopped (false id and other documentation Who else will be involved in the project (informants, other UC agents, private citizens) Detailed outline of anticipated expenses List of required personnel (sworn and unsworn) to support project List of personnel required from other law enforcement departments, agencies, and private sector to support project; also, a statement about the degree of commitment required from these entities to guarantee their support (e.g., signed letters of agreement, memorandums of understanding) Description of buildings, offices, residences, and other structures required for project List of equipment needed Detailed description outlining kinds of support that department must be willing to provide to ensure success of operation
Undercover Operations What should a department consider in selecting an investigator for an undercover project?
Undercover Operations Compatibility: can the officer blend in with minimal effort Experience: officer with record of good judgment and knowledge of how to develop evidence to prosecute a suspect (rookies are unlikely choice) Maturity and stability: must be able to resist undesirable temptations (e.g., drugs, sex, money) and withstand pressures (especially mental stress) of project Psychological issues: officer must be able to appear loyal to subject and cause but maintain allegiance to department Personnel issues: no prior credibility or discipline problems
Undercover Operations Describe the role played by “the handling” officer
Undercover Operation The handler functions as the link between the law enforcement agency and the undercover officer. Helps maintain the UC’s “regular” life—for example: – Visits UC’s family – Pickups and pays bills – Maintains personal property and home – Assists in filing income taxes – Handles administrative matters with department Ideal Handler – Mature and stable – Prior undercover experience – Not a high-ranking officer – Not a case officer or co-case officer
Undercover Operations Securing False Identification – must withstand scrutiny – Procuring false identification may violate local, state, and federal law Forms of Identification – Birth certificate – Social security number – False DL – Bank account – Credit cards – Miscellaneous or “Junk ID”: library card, membership cards (museum, clubs)
Undercover Operations Some “Gray Area” Undercover Projects – Cooperative private citizens – Nonsworn law enforcement personnel (e.g., a department computer tech, or translator) Neither of the above involves a sworn law enforcement investigator and thus the project does not qualify as an undercover operation. The cooperative private citizen or nonsworn law enforcement personnel should be treated as an informant and handled accordingly.