Computer Crime Research Center


FBI creates new units fighting cybercrime

Date: February 10, 2006
By: Emanuel Nicholson

Billions of dollars are lost each year in communities such as Tallahassee to cybercrimes, Tallahassee Police Department Chief Walter McNeil said Wednesday. To combat that problem, the department has created a cybercrimes unit to work on these cases.

Sgt. Bill Bierbaum, supervisor of the financial-crimes unit, will oversee the cybercrimes unit. He said 40 to 50 percent of crimes reported are computer-related.

"Sophisticated criminals are trading in the pry bar and gloves for a computer," Bierbaum said.

Investigators Stewart Clendinen, Rob Grasso and Joanna Baldwin have been assigned to the unit. Their job will be to crack crimes involving identity theft, bank fraud and cyberstalkers. Baldwin will specialize in investigating sexual predators who use the Internet to seek out victims.

The three officers received training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and from the National White Collar Crime Center through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The unit also will work with the FBI Tallahassee Cyber Crime Task Force. That group includes officers from the Leon County Sheriff's Office, Florida State University police, Florida A&M University police and the FDLE.
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