DELAWARE STATE POLICE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
The Special Investigations Section is a group of specialized criminal investigative units that proactively pursue quality of life issues. The Section is under the command of Captain Charles J. (Chip) Simpson. The section is subdivided into northern and southern offices. Lieutenant Patrick Ogden is the Deputy Commander for northern operations (New Castle County) and Lieutenant Bruce Von Goerres is the Deputy Commander for southern operations (Kent and Sussex). As always, our biggest successes were team projects with other DSP sections and outside law enforcement agencies. Within the Special Investigations Section there are six units: Auto Theft, Drugs North, Drugs South, FORCAST, Vice, and Federal Liaison Officers (DEA, FBI, US Attorney’s Office and US Marshals Service).
The Auto Theft Unit (ATU) is supervised by Sergeant Vincent Fiscella and is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all auto theft investigations in the DSP service area. ATU also works closely with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to assure the integrity of the motor vehicle process.
In 2005, ATU continued its proactive efforts to combat auto theft. The Unit conducted several surveillance operations focused on auto theft hotspots in the DSP service area. The Unit responded to specific requests from our patrol troops and assisted with several crime initiatives. Unit members recovered 117 stolen vehicles valued at $981,268.00. The Civilian Auto Theft Technician personnel (CATT) continue to be a tremendous resource for the unit. For 2005, CATT personnel conducted 12,801 inspections. Without this civilian support, ATU detectives would have handled these inspections thus negatively impacting their criminal investigative efforts.
Drugs North (D/N) under the supervision of Sergeant Darren Lester is responsible for long-term narcotic investigations in New Castle County. The close proximity of Philadelphia with low cost/high purity drugs makes their responsibility even more challenging.
The seven officers of D/N handled 215 cases (19% increase from ’04), made 462 arrests (46% increase from ’04), authored 55 search warrants, and seized: $102,623.00, 2.5 kilograms of powder cocaine, 428 grams of crack cocaine and 66 pounds of marijuana.
Drugs South (D/S) is supervised by Sergeant Leslie Grow and is responsible for long-term narcotic investigations in Kent and Sussex Counties. Surveillance and investigative support is also provided to numerous municipal police departments on a routine basis.
In 2005, the nine officers of D/S handled 601cases (93% increase over ’04), made 1107 arrests (95% increase over ’04), authored 155 search warrants, and seized: $196,295.00, 1.8 kilograms of powder cocaine, 830 grams of crack cocaine and 120 pounds of marijuana.
D/S aggressively attacked drug traffickers and addressed quality of life issues that plagued several rural communities in 2005. Some of the most noteworthy investigations include the following:
The FORCAST Unit handled 267 state and federal asset seizures in 2005 (22% increase over ’04) amounting to $881,142.28 in currency and property. The unit, supervised by Sergeant Donna Simpson, also conducted long-term financial/organized crime investigations and assisted many agencies with ongoing criminal matters to include Operation Kirkweed and the Trading Post investigations.
The Delaware State Police Vice Unit, under the direction of Sergeants Darren Lester and Donna Simpson, is charged with the responsibility of investigating vice related crimes involving prostitution, gambling, and child pornography. In addition, the Vice Unit assists the Office of Professional Regulation as it relates to licensing of massage and adult entertainment establishments.
During the course of the year, VICE coordinated several multi-agency prostitution stings. These sting operations are designed to tackle the
supply-side of the prostitution issue that plagues certain areas of Delaware. In addition, ongoing undercover street enforcement addressed the
prostitutes who are the most visible end of the problem. Concentrated efforts throughout 2005 were directed toward three target locations:
New Castle Avenue Corridor
Rt. 13 & the South Market Street Bridge
Rt. 13 & Bacon Avenue
During the summer of 2005, the Vice Unit in cooperation with the Public Information Office began publishing the names and photographs of all individuals arrested for prostitution related charges. This information is posted on the Delaware State Police web site “News Room”.
The unit made a total of 380 arrests for the year and seized $71,074.50. The majority of the currency was seized from two high profile house of prostitution investigations highlighted below:
The nature of Delaware law enforcement requires a very close working relationship with all federal law enforcement agencies. To foster this relationship, the Special Investigations Section assigns an officer, on a full time basis, to work directly at DEA, FBI, The U S Attorney’s Office and The U S Marshals Service. Our liaison officers, under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Kracyla, are federally sworn and enforce federal and/or state laws as the situation dictates.
Detective Donald Pope is assigned as the liaison officer to the DEA, Wilmington Office. During the year, Detective Pope provided assistance in drug investigations to a variety of law enforcement agencies in the region.
The Delaware Joint Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force (DEJVCFTF) also known as the FBI Task Force is a 3 person multi-agency task force under the direction and supervision of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The participating agencies in the task force include Delaware Probation and Parole, FBI and the Delaware State Police. Sgt. Robert Kracyla is the liaison officer assigned to the task force.
The mission of the task force is a two-prong effort: first, to conduct investigations and apprehend violent fugitives within this state and those fugitives who have sought refuge in this state from other areas. Second, to investigate and procure prosecutions of violent gang operations in the State of Delaware.
During 2005, the DEJVCFTF was involved in several significant investigations and the task force also assisted federal agents in investigating terrorism complaints in Delaware. Task force members followed up leads developed around the world and added information into the federal intelligence database.
Operation Disarm consists of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the Delaware State Police, the Dover Police Department, the Seaford Police Department and the Wilmington Police Department.
The mission of the task force is to assist in the investigation of firearms cases to ensure that cases are best prepared for successful prosecution, to identify the sources of illegal firearms and firearms related violence and conduct proactive investigations of firearms offenses and offenders.
Detective Daniel Meadows is the representative to this initiative and since it’s inception in October 2003, the task force has made 70 arrests while executing 82 search warrants. The unit has seized 973 weapons, 2 ballistic vests, 5 pounds of marijuana, 240 grams of cocaine, 140 grams of heroin and $9120.00.
The First State Fugitive Task Force consists of the US Marshals Service, the Delaware State Police and other local law enforcement agencies. The primary mission of the task force is to seek out and apprehend those individuals wanted on outstanding federal or state felony warrants with particular emphasis on those fugitives with violent histories and those identified as career criminals.
Detective Orlando Fletcher is the representative to this task force initiated in December of 2003. The task force paid dividends in 2005 with the apprehension of several violent fugitives.