The objective of our audit was to determine if the FBI has effectively established a nationwide investigative response to address the sexual exploitation, abduction, and abuse of children.
Scope and Methodology
We conducted the audit in accordance with the generally accepted government auditing standards, and included the tests and procedures necessary to accomplish our objective. To accomplish our objective, we interviewed numerous officials at the FBI headquarters and five field locations as well as representatives from external agencies. Altogether we conducted more than 200 interviews during our fieldwork to obtain program information as well as perspectives on the FBI’s crimes against children programs. The following section is divided to explain further our fieldwork at the FBI headquarters, FBI field offices, external organizations, and surveys.
Our fieldwork at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., included interviewing officials representing the following components:
- The Criminal Investigative Division
- The Violent Crimes Section
- The Crimes Against Children Unit
- The Cyber Crime Section
- The Innocent Images National Initiative Unit
- The Behavioral Analysis Unit 3 of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime
- The Digital Evidence Section
- The Computer Analysis Response Team Unit
- The Office for Victim Assistance
We reviewed documents received from the above components, including the following:
- applicable chapters from the FBI’s MIOG on CACU’s and IINI’s investigative responsibilities as well as procedures for the DES;
- electronic Communications, i.e. internal memoranda, issued by the CACU and IINI;
- narrative summaries of the first 26 CARD team deployments; and
- 1997 and 2008 editions of the Child Abduction Response Plan
FBI Field Offices
Beyond FBI headquarters, we performed fieldwork at five judgmentally selected field offices and at least one Resident Agency within each field office jurisdiction. The following table details the office locations included in our review.
FBI FIELD OFFICES AND RESIDENT AGENCIES VISITED
|No.||Field Office||Resident Agencies|
|1||Boston, Massachusetts||Providence, Rhode Island|
|2||Los Angeles, California||Santa Ana, California|
|3||Miami, Florida||West Palm Beach, Florida|
|4||St. Louis, Missouri128||Rolla, Missouri
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
|5||San Francisco, California||Oakland, California
San Jose, California
At each of these five locations, we interviewed management officials where possible, as well as Supervisory Special Agents and Special Agents involved in investigating crimes against children with or without a cyber nexus. Moreover, we interviewed forensic examiners, victim specialists, and local coordinators for the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes.
One component of our fieldwork schedule was the review of case files of judgmentally selected investigations on crimes against children that were closed from the start of fiscal year 2006 to the time of our fieldwork at each of the five locations: April 2007 for San Francisco, California; June 2007 for Los Angeles, California; July 2007 for Miami, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts; and August 2007 for St. Louis, Missouri. The following table displays the sample universe and actual files reviewed for crimes against children with and without a cyber nexus, respectively.
CASE FILE UNIVERSE AND ACTUAL FILES REVIEWED FOR
CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN INVESTIGATIONS
WITH AND WITHOUT A CYBER NEXUS
|Crime on Government
Of Child Pornography
|Groups and Enterprises||18||3||43||2||20||5||4||1||18||2|
Beyond FBI Headquarters and Field Offices
At the outset of the audit, we visited NCMEC headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia to interview liaisons from the following federal agencies: the FBI, the United States Marshals Service (USMS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
Additionally, our field work in the Washington, D.C., area included interviews with representatives from the:
- Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division, the DOJ;
- Child Protection Division of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office of Justice Programs;
- Office of Children’s Issues of the Department of State; and
- Child Exploitation Section of the ICE’s Cyber Crimes Center.
At the five judgmentally selected locations for fieldwork (San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts; and St. Louis, Missouri), we also interviewed officials from the local office of the USMS, ICE and USPIS. Beyond those federal agencies, we also visited the United States Attorney’s Office at the following Districts to interview the local coordinator for the Project Safe Childhood.
- Northern District of California in San Francisco, California
- Central District of California in Los Angeles, California
- Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida
- District of Massachusetts in Boston, Massachusetts
- Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri129
Local Law Enforcement Agencies
While conducting our fieldwork at the five judgmentally selected FBI field offices, we also visited other local law enforcement agencies, as follows.
- San Francisco Police Department in San Francisco, California
- San Jose Police Department in San Jose, California
- Los Angeles Police Department in Los Angeles, California
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Palm Beach Field Office in West Palm Beach, Florida130
- The City of Miami Police Department in Miami, Florida
- Boston Police Department in Boston, Massachusetts
- St. Louis Metro Police Department in St. Louis, Missouri
ICAC Task Forces
Besides local law enforcement agencies, we also interviewed representatives from the following Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces funded by OJP.
- The Silicon Valley ICAC Task Force at the San Jose Police Department in San Jose, California
- The ICAC Task Force at the Los Angeles Police Department in Los Angeles, California
- The Broward County ICAC Task Force at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
- The Massachusetts ICAC Task Force at the Massachusetts State Police in Boston, Massachusetts
- The Missouri ICAC Task Force at the Clayton Police Department in Clayton, Missouri
Agencies Assisted by the FBI’s CARD Teams
To assess the effectiveness of the FBI’s CARD Team deployments, we interviewed representatives from a judgmental sample of eight law enforcement agencies that received CARD Team services. These eight agencies as well as the method of our contact are as follows:
- Franklin County Sheriff’s Department in Union, Missouri (recipient of two CARD team deployments): in-person interview;
- Salinas Police Department in Salinas, California: telephone interview;
- Salt Lake City Police Department in Salt Lake City, Utah: telephone interview;
- DeSha County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas City, Arkansas: telephone interview;
- Allegheny County Police Department in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: telephone interview;
- Smyrna Police Department in Smyrna, Tennessee: telephone interview;
- Leesburg Police Department in Leesburg, Florida: telephone interview; and
- Buxton Police Department in Buxton, Maine: in-person interview.
We also visited the following non-governmental organizations to gain an understanding of various crimes against children and the perspective these organizations had on the FBI’s efforts in combating crimes against children.
- NCMEC: headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia; two regional offices in Tustin, California and Lake Park, Florida; and six Team Adam consultants located in various parts of the United States
- Crimes Against Children Research Center of the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire
- Children of the Night in Van Nuys, California
- Standing Against Global Exploitation Project in San Francisco, California
During the audit, we developed and deployed two surveys, as follows.
- To evaluate the efforts by FBI’s overseas representatives on international parental kidnapping of children, we developed and deployed a survey to eight judgmentally selected foreign locations: Israel, Mexico, Poland, United Kingdom (countries that have ratified the Hague Convention); and Barbados, Ethiopia, Japan and Saudi Arabia (countries that have not ratified the Hague Convention).
- To evaluate the efforts by FBI’s overseas representatives on child sex tourism, we developed and deployed a survey to two judgmentally selected locations: Thailand and Costa Rica.
We attended two conferences as a part of our fieldwork to assess outreach efforts by the FBI on crimes against children: (1) the 19th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference, and (2) the California Child Abduction Task Force: Intervention and Resource Training.
(1) The 19th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference was presented by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and the Dallas Police Department from August 13 to 16, 2007, in Dallas, Texas. We attended the first two days of this four-day conference and observed twelve presentations, as detailed in the following table.
Presentations Attended by the OIG at the
19th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference
|1||Child Abduction Response Plan||The FBI|
|2||Destination Cambodia: an International Sex Tourism Case Study||The CEOS|
|3||Cases of Child Abduction, Part 2||The FBI|
|4||Case Study: Destiny Norton131||The FBI and the Salt Lake City Police Department|
|5||Windows Vista and the Forensic Examiner||The CEOS|
|6||Medical Analysis of Child Pornography||OJJDP and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hills|
|7||Basic Child Forensic Interviewing, Part 1||The FBI|
|8||Digital Imaging with Adobe Photoshop—What’s Real?||NCMEC|
|9||NCMEC Child Abduction Project||NCMEC|
|10||The Adam Walsh Act||OJP|
|11||Legal Issues in Child Porn Cases||Fox Valley Technical College, Fox Valley, Wisconsin|
|12||Female Sex Offenders||A consultant to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections|
(2) The California Child Abduction Task Force: Intervention and Resource Training, was held on September 18 to 19, 2007, in Burlingame, California. We attended this training on September 19, 2007. A Special Agent from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is a member of the California Child Abduction Task Force, created officially in 1998 by the State of California Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning to “reduce the risk and incidence of child abduction and increase the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary response by enhancing skills, knowledge and awareness of child abduction.”132 At the September 2007 training in Burlingame, California, the FBI Special Agent participated by presenting on the following two topics: (a) Federal Agencies’ Resources and Response to Child Abductions and (b) Child Abduction Case Scenario.
During the course of our audit, we collected information from the FBI’s Time Utilization and Recordkeeping (TURK) system. We did not audit TURK or test whether the Special Agents were accurately reporting their time and, thus, we cannot guarantee that the time utilization reported by the FBI is accurate. We do not report any findings related to the FBI’s TURK system.
In addition, we collected data from a DES tracking database on the national averages of all IINI-related forensic analysis of digital evidence performed by its CART teams and RCFL laboratories. We did not perform testing to verify the accuracy of data from this tracking database as part of our audit. We do not report any findings related to the data we collected or the database.
- We did not visit the resident agencies in Rolla and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Instead, representatives from these offices discussed with us their involvement in crimes against children investigations at the field office headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.
- At the USAO for the Eastern District of Missouri, we also interviewed two additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys besides the PSC coordinator who had prosecutorial experiences in child prostitution and international parental kidnapping of children matters.
- We included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in our scope in order to review its Child Abduction Response Teams program, which served as a model in 2005 for the OJP’s program by that same name.
- Destiny Norton was the deceased victim of a child abduction that occurred in July 2006 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The FBI’s CARD Teams assisted in the investigation and this deployment was selected in our review of the CARD Teams.
- This Special Agent is also a Crimes Against Children Coordinator at the FBI Los Angeles Field Office and a member of the CARD Teams.