MAJOR CRIMES UNIT
Detectives are responsible for investigating homicides and other felony assaults, suicides, drowning, overdoses and other unexplained deaths. Detectives also work closely with the 5th Judicial District Medical Examiner’s Office to ensure that cases are worked thoroughly and properly and with the prosecutors at the State Attorney’s Office in an effort to successfully prosecute violent criminals. In 2015, there were 6 homicide cases involving six victims. All 6 cases were closed, resulting in a 100% closure rate. In addition, detectives worked 50 suicides, 31 accidental deaths, and 17 other-type death cases. The Agency also worked 20 natural deaths in Marion County.
In 2015, the Bureau of Special Investigations received 917 cases, which includes death and sex-related, child abuse, internet crimes and sex offender/predator violations. The Bureau closed 890 of the cases assigned in 2015, resulting in a 97% closure rate for the year and a 100% closure rate for the month of December.
The Cargo Theft Task Force conducted 12 undercover deployments in Marion County in 2015 bringing the total operations to date to 356. There has been an increase in cargo thefts reported nationally; however, statewide efforts have resulted in a decrease. 2015 marked another year for the decrease in cargo thefts in Marion County, with no successful thefts this year. Florida reports have indicated a decrease in cargo theft values from $16.2 million reported in 2014, to $13.7 million in 2015.
The Sheriff’s Office assists the statewide task force in their investigations, conducting undercover operations and leading the way in reducing cargo thefts in Florida. The Sheriff’s Office has continued to co-chair the National Cargo Theft Task Force with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) which organized a national cargo theft website, the annual summit in Washington D.C., and the re-adoption of the National Strategy. A direct result of these efforts include the passing of new laws or updating existing laws in the State of Florida regarding penalties for cargo theft, investigative processes against cargo theft suspects, and Federal Legislation to update Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) which will assist in identifying the larger, national picture of cargo theft.
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC)
Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) investigations is part of the Major Crimes Unit. Marion County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the North Florida Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) task force which is one of three task forces in the state of Florida. The unit investigates any crimes in which a juvenile is being victimized through the use of the computer and/or the internet. This includes on-line solicitation of children and child pornography, as well as those child related crimes perpetrated over electronic devices such as cellular telephones or “smart” phones.