Computer Crime Research Center


Wayne County Internet police on the prowl

Date: February 23, 2004
Source: freep / news / michigan

DETROIT, Mich. (AP) -- Investigators with the Wayne County Sheriff's Internet Crime Unit, posing as teenagers, surf the Internet from their office in the county jail, accessing chat rooms in search of people trying to arrange dates with minors.

They are good at their work, as two Wayne State University graduate students found out the hard way last week. The two were arrested after police say one of them set up a date with an investigators posing as a 14-year-old girl.

"For the kind of work we do, having the comic characters and dressing the way we do helps keep your mind off of the stuff you've got to deal with every day," investigator Norman Gibson told the Detroit Free Press for a Monday story. "There is some pretty harsh stuff out there."

The two men nabbed last week were the unit's third and fourth arrests in about a month.

Authorities say Sachin Rathi set up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl. When he and his friend Shobit Jain showed up, they found the investigators.

Rathi was arraigned in the 31st District Court in Hamtramck on two counts of illegal use of the Internet, a 20 year felony, and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, a 15 year felony. Jain faces one count of conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct. They are being held on bond of $300,000 and $250,000, respectively pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 26.

Investigators with the unit say, in their experience, all the perpetrators have been men, most of whom are well-educated suburbanites with middle- to upper-middle income jobs.

"It is a huge problem, and it is one that is statistically under-policed," said Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans, who wants to bolster the unit's ranks with another two full-time officers this year.
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