The Bureau of Investigation is the law enforcement arm of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. It is made up of eight divisions, which include 124 District Attorney Investigators, 48 Public Assistance Fraud Investigators, 14 Process Servers, 10 Paralegals and 10 Investigative Technicians.
Through the progressive and effective leadership of Chief Adolfo Gonzales and Assistant Chief Miguel Rosario, and the committed efforts of members of The Bureau of Investigations the Bureau has earned the reputation of being a model investigative bureau.
The bureau provides diverse and skilled law enforcement investigative services to support the prosecutorial mission. During its annual recruitment, the Bureau of Investigation received more than 100 applications for 12 positions.
Accomplishments include handling more than 16,396 investigative service requests, which resulted in executing 301 search warrants and arresting 71 defendants. Additional results include:
The Bureau’s Child Abduction Unit conducted 149 investigations involving child custody violations. The unit was successful in recovering 68 abducted children from around the world. Out of those recoveries, the unit investigated 12 Hague cases involving children being abducted from or taken to other countries including, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Australia and Romania.
We tracked 2,498 violations on the Visitation Reporting System, which is accessible via the District Attorney’s public website. We also directly handled more than 1,271 public contacts in regards to child custody issues.
Public Assistance Fraud
In 2015, the Public Assistance Fraud Division handled almost 20,000 cases in the Early Fraud Prevention program. These efforts resulted in a cost-avoidance of close to $2.2 million.
The investigations unit, which investigates allegations of fraud in public assistance, closed 838 investigations. In 2015, these investigations identified about $2.5 million in overpayments referred 317 cases for administrative collections and 151 cases for prosecution. There were about 1,700 public calls and 160 fraud referrals.
The California Department of Social Services Fraud Bureau sends abstract information to the Public Assistance Fraud Unit, which identifies individuals who are potentially ineligible to receive public assistance. In 2015, we conducted 5,209 administrative reviews to determine if potential fraud existed. The unit also ran criminal history checks on 7,981 parents and prospective foster children caretakers.
The bureau paralegal program continues to be an asset to the overall function of the bureau by assisting investigators on tasks including:
- Investigating misidentification cases
- Conducting new employee background investigations
- Conducting computer inquiries
- Conducting interviews and writing reports
- Witness management
Subpoena Witness Coordination Center
The Subpoena Witness Coordination Center is staffed with a process server supervisor, a bureau paralegal, 13 process servers and two couriers. Their assignments include the Hall of Justice and the El Cajon, South Bay and North County branch offices. The Subpoena Witness Coordination Center plays a major role in the bureau’s success by providing vital support to the investigators in serving subpoenas, picking up non-original evidence and transporting witnesses to and from court. In 2015, the center served 7,308 subpoenas office wide. They also conducted 431 witness transports and 668 evidence pickups.
Trial Support Services
Trial Support Services provides courtroom support to prosecutors including graphic design expertise, audio/visual expertise and fingerprint identification expertise. Their mission is to provide effective and timely mixed-media courtroom assistance, which helps in presenting facts and evidence during trials. The department is made up of one supervisor, a discovery clerk and 10 investigative technicians. This group also offers support for various outreach programs and the DA’s Communications Team.
In 2015, the Bureau of Investigation continued its commitment of developing community partnerships. Once again, it partnered with lowrider car clubs, local businesses and school districts to adopt families throughout the county during the holidays. The bureau participated in community events, including The Latino Police Officer’s Association dinner and bicycle giveaway where a total of 100 children were selected to receive a Thanksgiving dinner and bicycle, with an additional 800 needy families receiving turkeys and miscellaneous meal items for Christmas.
Additional community partnerships include:
- Shop with a Cop
- Children’s Hospital Teddy Bear Drive
- Martin Luther King Parade
- St. Patrick’s Day Parade
- San Diego Pride Parade
Awards to the bureau and its investigators include:
Scottish Rite Law Enforcement Recognition Night
Deputy District Attorneys Association Investigator of the Year