A new unit under the U.S. Department of Justice will be housed in Denver and take on hacking, terrorism-related matters and other high-profile cases.
The newly created Cybercrime and National Security Section was announced Thursday by Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. Troyer said, “cybercrime and national security crimes are increasingly urgent threats in the District of Colorado.”
The new section will be staffed with six assistant United States attorneys who are experts in investigating and prosecuting cyber-enabled crimes and national security cases and housed under the umbrella of The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division.
“The attorneys were previously assigned to various sections, including the Special Prosecutions section. These experts have now come together under one of our four criminal sections to focus on these important Department of Justice priorities,” said, Jeff Dorschner spokesman for The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The office has increased its investigations and prosecutions into hacking and other cybercrimes by 20 percent during the last two years. Those crimes include child exploitation cases and those involving child pornography, according to the DOJ.
The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office has also prosecuted 16 individuals since 2014 for Bitcoin or digital currency crimes. In addition, investigations aided by the office led to nine individuals being prosecuted by foreign governments and six to 10 individuals being prosecuted by state authorities.
“This is what we do: identify emerging threats that we can effectively address, and fluidly deploy an elite team to meet the threat,” Troyer said in a statement.
The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office has investigated and prosecuted several high-profile cybercrime cases in recent years including U.S. v. Bourret, et al., a computer intrusion case involving almost 2 million online accounts; U.S. v. Snowden, a prosecution involving economic espionage and trade secrets theft; U.S. v. Hugo, a production of child pornography case involving several children; U.S. v. Salias, a production of child pornography case involving an infant; and U.S. v. Holt et al., a prosecution involving a man and woman who sexually exploited three children.
The office said it will continue to expand its investigations and prosecutions of national security and terrorism matters as it has done with U.S. v. Conley, which involved a Colorado woman who met an ISIS fighter online and attempted to travel to Syria and provide support to the terrorist group; U.S. v. Ansberry, in which the defendant is charged for attempting to use an explosive device to destroy the Nederland Police Department; and U.S. v. Worku, which involved the investigation, prosecution, and trial of a convicted war criminal for visa fraud.