The Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is an investigative and law enforcement branch of the Office of the Attorney General and is made up of sworn detectives who are cross-trained in several investigative fields. DCI investigates crimes that Kentucky law enforcement agencies are not often trained in or equipped to support. These crimes include corruption by government officials, human trafficking, illegal Rx sales by doctors, adults seeking sex with children, the creating or sharing of child pornography, as well as many other criminal acts. DCI also provides training as well as technical, auditing, forensic, and investigative support to our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. Our detectives and support staff have extensive backgrounds in various law enforcement applications and are very often recruited as experts from distinct law enforcement agencies across our Commonwealth.
DCI consists of three branches: Public Integrity/Special Investigations, Cyber Crimes, and Drug Investigations. Each branch has primary and secondary duties that allow our law enforcement officers to support our multi-faceted mission. An overview of each branch is given below:
Public Integrity / Special Investigations:
The primary duty of Public Integrity/Special Investigations (PI/SI) is to ensure that our leaders and government employees execute their duties in an ethical and honest manner. PI/SI does this by investigating allegations of criminal misconduct by state and local public officials, as well as the misuse and theft of public funds. We also investigate numerous arenas of corruption including executive, judicial, legislative, vendor contract, regulatory, election fraud, and systemic law enforcement corruption.
PI/SI has retained the Commonwealth’s first full-time statewide human trafficking detective. Moreover, DCI has taken the lead in Kentucky for the education and establishment of best-practice labor and sex trafficking investigations and training. The men and women that work these cases spend countless hours each week attempting to locate abusive exploiters, who all too often prey on vulnerable individuals within our Kentucky communities. A victim-centered approach is always made to help these abused men, women, and children to get out from under the oppressive and violent conditions that they are in and provide them with opportunities to rebuild their trust in community resources and law enforcement.
As technology continues to expand, we all become more accessible through online communications. However, all too often, predators use the internet to hide behind pseudo- names and anonymous applications in order to satisfy a deviant sexual desire that involves our children. The Detectives in Cyber Crimes target these often aggressive predators who solicit sex with underage boys and girls. Additionally, they also focus on finding and prosecuting individuals who photograph, share, view, and collect child pornography.
This branch also has multiple digital forensic investigation capabilities, such as collecting evidential documentation and files from a variety of devices, including damaged or hidden information. The collection of this evidence can be done either in the DCI cyber lab or in the field to meet the demands of an extenuating circumstance. Our forensic detectives not only support our DCI needs, but also support local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that do not have their own cyber investigation and forensic capabilities.
The primary duty of Drug Investigations (DI) is to investigate the illegal distribution and over-prescribing of drugs by doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacies. Our detectives’ mission is to stop illegal drug practices in Kentucky and nationwide, thus putting an end to the excessive prescribing of opioids to our citizens.
DI works closely with multiple local, state and federal agencies and manages the Appalachian HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Rx Diversion Task Force, which is based in southeastern Kentucky. DI also has detectives assigned to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) task force in Lexington, Kentucky, which focuses on illegal prescribing. Our detectives also investigate the sale of synthetic drugs and assist local agencies in the fight against the heroin epidemic.
It is important for law enforcement to try and stay ahead of any new illegal drug trend. We relentlessly seek out these trends and offer training as well as propose legislative changes to protect our citizens.