INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Federal investigators are praising state police for their role in the Plainfield cyberterrorism investigation.
Indiana State Police is one of the several departments that helped the FBI on the case.
The state police Cyber Crime Unit helps the FBI multiple times every month, according to state police Sgt. Brian Bunner. State police officials said they couldn’t disclose their exact role in the Plainfield case but they were happy to help.
Indiana State Police is a part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force — a team of federal, state and local police.
Bunner’s office is full of tech tools in the state police Cyber Crimes Unit. He showed off one machine Tuesday that can plug into a suspect’s phone to extract messages.
He also said Indiana State Police uses a mobile interview room complete with a video camera.
Detectives also use a room lined with copper wire to block out cell service so suspects can’t access their phones remotely to clear evidence.
“I think it’s a drive as an examiner that you never quit,” Bunner said. “It’s a persistence thing.”
Persistence is what led police to a Bakersfield, California, home. Federal investigators said the man who lived there, Buster Hernandez, sexually extorted underage girls in Indiana — with threats of sharing compromising images — and launched a cyberterrorism campaign that shut down two Indiana high schools.
“Capt. Chuck Cohen started the unit and held the standards making sure we have the best training and the best equipment in the country,” Bunner said. “The examiners for the state police are probably the best in the country.”
Investigators also have access to a department psychologist.
“It’s a hard position, whether we’re dealing with the murder cases, child pornography or just any other cases,” Bunner said.
Indiana State Police get around $200,000 in federal grants each year to fight internet crimes against children. The money helps state police purchase some of their equipment.