AG Schimel Welcomes Electronic Detecting Canine to Help Fight Internet Crimes

Oct 29 2018

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel is proud to announce the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has added an electronics detecting canine, Kozak, to help assist regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force teams. In the first six months of 2018, the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force received 915 cyber-tips, and inspected more than 351,128 gigabytes of seized data on hard drives, cellphones, and other data storage devices.

 

“When people think of police canines, they often don’t know the true range of tasks different dogs can accomplish,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Kozak has already assisted agents in discovering evidence that might not have been found.”

 

Kozak is named after Alicia Kozakiewicz, a survivor of a brutal abduction by an Internet predator. At the age of 13, she was abducted, held hostage, and tortured in the predator’s Virginia basement. She is now an advocate for Alicia’s Law, also named in her honor.

 

“I am absolutely overjoyed that K9 Kozak, the new Wisconsin ICAC Canine Officer, has been named after me!” said Alicia Kozakiewicz. “What I experienced was truly heinous, but so much good has come from it, such as, Alicia’s Law, which I worked alongside the group, Protect, to pass in Wisconsin. How amazing that Alicia’s Law has gone on to fund Kozak’s addition to this incredible team of heroes. Go get ‘em, Kozak!”

 

Alicia’s Law, authored by Rep. Joel Kleefisch and Sen. Van Wanggaard, was passed and signed in 2016. The law created an administrative subpoena process that expedites the procedure for finding the location of suspected internet sex predators, and provides additional funding to the statewide ICAC program. Since its passage, Alicia’s Law has been a successful tool for law enforcement, including to help lead to the August 2018 arrest of a Las Vegas man who allegedly victimized up to 500 teenage girls throughout the United States and internationally since 2012.

 

Alicia’s Law also created a statewide ICAC surcharge. A surcharge of $20 for each misdemeanor conviction and $40 for each felony conviction is issued to aid the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force. These funds were used to create the electronic detection K9 program at DOJ, including paying for all training, equipment, food, and veterinary care. K9 Kozak was provided to DOJ by Neighborhood K-9 in Indiana, an organization that donates dogs to electronic detection canine programs.

 

Electronic detection canines are a useful tool in uncovering electronic devices as evidence in a variety of crimes, prominently when people try to conceal electronic devices containing child pornography.  The intensely-trained canines are able to sniff for particular chemical compounds, including triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) and hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone (HPK), which are found in electronic devices. Kozak, like most electronic detection canines, is on a food-reward diet, which means he is only fed when he finds an electronic device. This requires him to either be trained or deployed on an operation every day, in order to stay fed and keep his skills up to snuff.

 

Kozak was trained by the Jordan Detection K9 company in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Jordan Detection K9 has been training electronic detection canines since 2014.  Their first dog to undergo this training, Bear, has been utilized to help in several notorious cases including the arrest of Jared Fogle (former Subway spokesman) in July 2015; and the raids on the home and gymnastic academy of Marvin Sharp (former U.S. Gymnastics Coach).

 

K9 Kozak and Special Agent Tami Pawlak, Kozak’s handler, completed a comprehensive training in August 2018. Since then Special Agent Pawlak and K9 Kozak have completed additional trainings and seven deployments, including the investigation into the disappearance of Jayme Closs. Photos of K9 Kozak and Special Agent Pawlak are attached to this press release.

 

The statewide Wisconsin ICAC Task Force works to protect kids online by investigating individuals who use the internet, online communications, or computer technology to exploit children.

 

The Wisconsin ICAC Task Force has arrested 243 individuals suspected of conducting internet crimes against children including child enticement; obscenity directed to minors; child prostitution; manufacture, distribution, and possession of child pornography; and has executed 409 search warrants. In 2018, more than 1,400 law enforcement and prosecutors have been trained in the investigation and prosecution of internet crimes against children. The task force has also given community presentations on keeping kids safe online to over 15,000 attendees in 2018.

 

The Wisconsin ICAC Task Force is comprised of DOJ personnel, police departments, and sheriff’s offices from around the state (full list of Wisconsin ICAC affiliates can be seen here). The DOJ ICAC Task Force also provides online safety training for parents, teachers, and communities through educational programming and the Protect Kids Online Podcast.

 

New online safety guides, developed by the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force, are available:

 

 

 

 

For more information on ICAC and how to protect children online, go to: www.ProtectKidsOnlineWI.gov.

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