SLED, FBI, Secret Service Will Operate $5 Million Facility
FBI Director Robert Mueller said Tuesday that South Carolina now has a first-of-its kind center to fight cybercrime.
Mueller was in Columbia for the opening of the state's new computer crime center.
Officials say the center will help investigations in child pornography, identity theft and fraud.
The center will is a place where investigators from law enforcement agencies across the state can seek assistance in high-tech crimes.
Investigators can bring a suspect's computer to the center, where experts can make copies of the contents of the disk drives, analyze the information and pinpoint evidence of a crime.
"We see a great deal of child exploitation in the distribution and possession of child pornography," SLED Lt. Chip Johnson told WYFF News 4's Myra Ruiz. "We see a tremendous growth in the area of identity fraud and identity theft, on-line fraud. Then there are more traditional crimes with evidence of homicides and larcenies."
Mueller said that the center also will help in the war against terrorism because many terrorists are using the Internet to communicate.
The State Law Enforcement Division will run the lab, which will be shared with the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.
At Tuesday's ceremony, officials thanked U.S. Sen. Ernest Fritz Hollings, who secured more than $5 million for the center.
"There's not a state in the country that's better off today than we are when it comes to investigating computer-related crimes," 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy told News 4