When Greece police began investigating a triple homicide on March 9, they soon learned the victims were not U.S. citizens. As the investigation progressed, police found that the victims and suspects had many aliases and that complicated things, so Greece investigators turned to the Monroe Crime Analysis Center for help.
"Taking the federal information that we wouldn't have access to normally, and using that to our advantage. For instance, deportation records. Those are usually very accurate records on who people really are. So, using that information to positively identify was a great asset to us," said Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter.
The Monroe Crime Analysis Center, also called MCAC, is located in the Rochester Public Safety Building. It's a staff of about 20 comprised of analysts and field intelligence officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies. It uses videos and a computer database to connect a person of interest to an alias or street name.
The center works with the New York-New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking area, or HIDTA. Former Monroe County Sheriff's Office investigator Andy Trerise is the local agent. He said Greece police came to him as a source of information to find out where the suspects may have come from and what contacts they have in other parts of the country.
"The one thing that I was able to bring to the table is my counterparts out in California. I simply made an introduction with law enforcement with the HIDTA system in L.A. From there, the introduction was made and they made the connection and worked hand in hand with law enforcement out in California," said Trerise.
Leads obtained through sources in California led investigators to Arizona where the suspects Richard Anderson, Andrew Wright and Aston Johnson were arrested March 18.
So far, Anderson is the only one charged in the Greece murders. Besides tracking suspects, M-CAC assists local police agencies every day in the deploying of their resources.
"We meet with the Rochester Police Department every morning at 9:15 a.m., and our analysts discuss the last 24 hours of violent crime and how it relates to patterns that may be weeks or months old, or gang involvement, arguments, and such. From that, the Rochester Police Department says this is where we're going to put our personnel today in these boxes during these times doing this particular mission," said MCAC Director Tim Hickey.
MCAC also sends out a daily county report to the sheriff's office and suburban police departments. It is also a resource for sheriff's investigators and police departments in other counties and outlying areas.
Monroe Crime Analysis Center