Conspiracy investigations and prosecutions have important and unique advantages for investigators and prosecutors. Best of all, this powerful tool can be used in most narcotics cases, whether state or federal. Nearly every drug transaction, from distribution to possession with intent to distribute, is part of a hidden drug conspiracy, some simple and others complex and widespread. Through a conspiracy investigation, a small drug seizure or informant buy can be the start of taking down a large organization. The DOJ Federal Narcotics Prosecution manual points out that “Conspiracy is the ...single most powerful tool in investigating and proving drug crimes.” It’s available to federal, state and local investigators.
This “how to” course covers conspiracy laws and investigative methods that can be applied to existing and future cases. Based on actual cases, instructors deliver cutting edge tactics, techniques and best practices regarding conspiracy investigations and prosecutions. The course is designed for law enforcement professionals and prosecutors who wish to develop more powerful cases and attack and dismantle drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).
Module 1: 7 January, 2014
Three (3) Essential Elements that must be proven for a Conspiracy Conviction
Conspiracy Laws and Related Crimes
Why Make Conspiracy Cases? Ten (10) Important Advantages of a Conspiracy Case
“How To”: Investigating, Developing and Proving Conspiracy Cases
Intelligence Collection, Analysis and Targeting: Debriefings and Site Exploitation
The Four-Step Conspiracy Investigation
Overview of Investigative Techniques & Best Practices
Module 2: 4 February, 2014
Overview of Investigative Techniques & Best Practices
Actual Cases Studies: From Simple to Complex, From DTOs to Street Gangs
-A Classic Conspiracy Investigation
-The Five-Minute Wordless Conspiracy
-Staples and a Hamburger Receipt
The Making of A Conspiracy Investigator
The Prosecutor-Investigator Team
Class Discussion: Exchange ideas, techniques, and issues, and solicit Instructor advice on current and future Investigations
Presenter: Charles W. Spillers
Retired Assistant U. S. Attorney (AUSA) Charlie Spillers is a career law enforcement professional with over 42 years experience in federal, state and local law enforcement, conducting narcotics investigations as an officer, agent, supervisor, commander and prosecutor. He has been enlightening and entertaining law enforcement professionals for many years with his lively classes on all areas of drug investigations. As an Adjunct Professor at the University of Mississippi, he teaches conspiracy investigations, wiretap investigations and search and seizure in graduate criminal justice courses. He serves as an instructor for training academies, law enforcement agencies and seminars.
As an OCDETF prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi, he conducted and led OCDETF and HIDTA investigations of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) for 23 years. He began his career as a uniform officer with the Thomasville, North Carolina Police Department, and then served with the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Police Department, working undercover in Intelligence and in Narcotics for nearly six years. Mr. Spillers then served for 12 years with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) as an Agent, Intelligence Agent, District Agent-in-Charge and Regional Commander.
With over 10 years undercover experience, he became known for his undercover expertise which included not only years of making drug buys but also working as an undercover Intelligence officer and infiltrating auto theft rings and drug smuggling rings. He culminated his extensive undercover career by making a buy-bust of 3,000 pounds of marijuana in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Spillers has provided law enforcement training for many years and is well known as an instructor for local, state and federal agencies. He specializes in conspiracy investigations and complex investigations, wiretap investigations, search and seizure law, informant development and control, and undercover operations. He served as an instructor for the DOJ Criminal Trial Advocacy Course and other courses at the DOJ National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, including courses in Jury Selection and Operational Use of Informants. He serves as an instructor in the Basic Law Enforcement Officers Academies in Mississippi. He served as an instructor numerous courses and schools, including: DEA Highway Interdiction Course; IRS Money Laundering Experts Course; U.S. Customs Smuggling Investigations Course; MBN Basic Agent schools, in narcotics investigation courses at the Regional Counter Drug Training Academy (RCTA) Meridian, Mississippi, and in other courses and seminars. He has made presentations to the Mississippi Prosecutors annual conference on search and seizure law and Strategic Investigations and Prosecutions of Criminal Street Gangs.
Throughout his career he specialized in developing and conducting law enforcement training including regional drug investigation seminars, a Air/Marine Smuggling Investigators Course, a Wiretapping Seminar for local, state and federal investigators, and a Narcotics Investigators Intelligence Seminar. In addition, Mr. Spillers helped develop the Mississippi highway drug interdiction program, the Traveling Criminal Apprehension Patrol Program (TCAP).
Mr. Spillers served three tours in Iraq for the Department of Justice, the first two as an attorney-advisor to the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), the court that tried Saddam Hussein, Chemical Ali and other high level regime members, and the last tour as the DOJ Justice Attaché for Iraq. As the Justice Attaché for Iraq he led a DOS, DOD and DOJ project to develop and organize a Terrorism Task Force targeting Al Qaeda financing. He served as an expert witness for the British Government in a war crimes case before the High Court of England and Wales. His work related to Iraq was commended by the President of the IHT, the DOJ Deputy Attorney General, the First Secretary of the Italian Embassy, the British Ambassador and Britain’s Secretary of State for the Armed Forces.