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Computer Crimes Unit


In response to the rapid increases in technological crimes involving computers and related technologies, Sheriff Patrick Gallivan, on March 26, 1999, announced the formation of the Erie County Sheriff's Office Computer Crime Unit.

The mission of the Computer Crime Unit is to conduct and provide expert assistance to Sheriff’s Office Personnel, and other law enforcement agencies, with investigations pertaining to the criminal use of computers and related technologies.

Crimes include:

  • Network Intrusion
  • Unauthorized Use Of A Computer / Computer Trespass
  • Computer Tampering / "Criminal Hacking"
  • Child Pornography Over The Internet
  • Telecommunications Fraud
  • And Other Illegal Internet Activity
  • Sale Of Illegal Computer Hardware Or Software

Erie County Sheriff's Office personnel assigned to this unit, have training and experience in dealing with a variety of Computer applications and operating systems.

Personnel receive specialized training and are equipped to prepare and execute Search Warrants in a technical environment and are equipped to seize and analyze Computer Systems. This incorporates utilizing accepted forensic methods to collect electronic evidence in accordance with the rules of evidence and laws of search and seizure. This includes evidence that has been hidden, concealed, encrypted, protected with passwords, software time-bombs, trojan horses, tsr's or other destruction devices that could destroy either the evidence, the physical computer, or both.

WNYRCFL

The Erie County Sheriff's Office is a proud participant in the Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL). The RCFL staffs Computer Forensics Examiners from numerous area law enforcement agencies. The Sheriff's Office has a Deputy from the Computer Crime Unit assigned to the lab as a full-time Computer Forensic Examiner. These examiners are skilled in the preservation, identification, extraction, and documentation of computer related evidence.

Infraguard

The Erie County Sheriff's Office Computer Crime Unit is a proud member of the Buffalo Infragard Chapter, which is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members in the field of Information Security. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a cooperative undertaking between businesses, academic institutions, government, and law enforcement agencies, along with other participants dedicated to increasing the security of critical infrastructures.

NYS ICAC

 The Erie County Sheriff's Office Computer Crime Unit is also an active member in combating Crimes Against Children utilizing the Internet. The Computer Crime Unit works with a national network of federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies that are trained to investigate crimes where individuals utilize computer technology to victimize children. These crimes include child abduction, child pornography, and sexual exploitation of children.

SWGDE

 The Erie County Sheriff's Office is an active member of the Scientific Working Group for Digital Evidence (SWGDE). SWGDE’s mission is to establish and promulgate accepted forensic guidelines and definitions for the handling of digital evidence, and to cooperate with other national and international organizations in developing guidelines for the analysis of digital evidence.

Computer Crime Unit Personnel can be reached by contacting the Erie County Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency line at (716) 858-2903. Any requests for information can be directed to Erie County Sheriff's Office, Computer Crime Unit, 10 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202.