The Manawa Police Department was recently recognized for its investigation and arrest of a sexual predator.
The Mid-States Organized Crime information Center (MOCIC) serves nine states, including Wisconsin. It is part of the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) program that allows investigators to access information and databases compiled by departments and agencies throughout the country.
Using resources provided by MOCIC, the Manawa police began an 18-month investigation that eventually led to the arrest and conviction of Matthew A. Bussian. In December 2010, Bussian was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“The credit goes to Officer Michelle Kamba,” said Manawa Police Chief Dave Walker. “She was doing a long-term investigation of Bussian after he was arrested for the sexual assault of a child.”
In July 2009, Bussian was charged with three felony counts of sexual assault of a child. Over the next year, Waupaca county law enforcement would establish three separate criminal cases against Bussian, involving children ranging in age from 10 to 15 years old.
Kamba’s work with MOCIC helped area law enforcement locate some of the victims.
“Following that first arrest, Michelle did a nationwide search trying to uncover previous crimes. She uncovered both adult and juvenile victims,” Walker said. “Some of the victims were in other states and some of the victims were local. Some of them refused to come forward, and others came forward but were reluctant to testify.”
Walker said one of the benefits of working with MOCIC is that it provides information that local investigators can use to develop their case against a suspect.
For example, police learned that Bussian had been using his job with a traveling carnival show to target young victims in other states.
When local police contact MOCIC’s office in Springfield, Mo., they are assigned an analyst who searches databases from agencies throughout the country. The analyst then provides the local officer with contacts at departments in other states for follow up.
At the same time Kamba was investigating Bussian on the sexual assault cases in early 2010, the Waupaca County Area Computer Crimes Task Force (WCACCTF) was being formed.
Waupaca Police Officer Paul Benzschawel and New London Police Officer Josh Wilson spearheaded WCACCTF investigations. They obtained the task force’s first search warrants in April 2010. Bussian’s computer was the first one seized under WCACCTF’s and he was subsequently charged with four felony counts of possession of child pornography.
Although all the sexual assault charges were dismissed and read into the record, Bussian was convicted of the four child porn charges and sentenced to 20 years in state prison.
According to Chief Deputy Al Kraeger, with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, the regional RISS centers give police in small communities access to information and resources that can help their investigations become convictions.
In addition to information, the RISS centers offer support staff, specialized training and the loan of expensive investigative equipment.