Fentanyl Phenomenon

Dan Zsido

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Lieutenant (Retired)

This presentation’s objective is to provide awareness to first responder law enforcement, undercover narcotic investigators, correctional, probation & parole, regulatory and supervisory personnel about the emerging issue of “Fentanyl, Fentanyl Analogs, Carfentanil, U-47700, Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals & Other Dangerous Substances.”  This presentation will further provide an understanding of the dangers and preventive safe guards, examples of counterfeit pills and synthetic substances, drug distribution methods, narcotic costs vs. profits and supply vs. demand factors, fentanyl analogs and similar synthetic substances, counterfeit pill press devices and usage, law enforcement fentanyl exposures and potential life threatening hazardous incidents.  The purpose of this presentation is to provide education and training to avoiding a lethal drug exposure.

Pablo Escobar- Dismantling the Medellin Cartel

Steve Murphy and Javier Peña

DEA Special Agents in Charge (Retired) 

Attendees will be provided with a brief history of the Medellin Cartel; how Pablo Escobar became the leader; how he used his illegal fortune to win favor within the Government of Colombia, including his own short-lived political career; how Escobar manipulated an entire Government, and then terrorized the world; how the Medellin Cartel was destroyed; and the investigative means, methods, and techniques used which ultimately brought Escobar to justice. This course will also explore cocaine production; transportation; smuggling methods; narco-terrorism; money laundering and repatriation of drug proceeds; and Escobar’s wealth and influence. Learning about available resources and techniques will serve several objectives: assisting investigators with expanding and pursuing major drug operations; aid with officer survival by having greater insight into the dangers and challenges associated with international, large-scale drug trafficking organizations; and providing investigators with a working knowledge of narco-terrorism and the potential for political corruption. Finally, various leadership principles, decision making under stressful circumstances scenarios, and team building techniques utilized by the instructors will be discussed in an effort to provide attendees with potential tenets to assist in developing their professional law enforcement careers.


Patron Saints of the Mexican Drug and Human Trafficking Underworld

Robert Almonte

El Paso Police Department, Deputy Chief (Retired)

Drug and human traffickers, gang members and others involve the spiritual world in their trade for protection from law enforcement.  This intensive course will include information on various legitimate and illegitimate saints and icons used by criminals. Embedded in the traditions and culture of the Hispanic community are legitimate Catholic saints that the faithful pray to for protection and/or assistance such as St. Jude (patron saint of impossible causes) and San Ramon (patron saint of silence).  Some of the legitimately recognized Catholic saints are also used by drug traffickers for “protection” from law enforcement. There are still other unrecognized saints or spirits that drug traffickers and others have adopted and use to protect them from law enforcement in their illegal activities.  They include Jesus Malverde (patron saint of drug traffickers); San Simon and Santa Muerte.  Santa Muerte’s popularity in the United States has become increasingly alarming and has been associated with violent crimes. This unique course is extremely beneficial to law enforcement officers, correction officers, probation and parole officers, and crime analysts in all parts of the country who may encounter images, icons, statutes, and other items during or pursuant to an investigation.  Several significant arrests, including the clearing of a cold case murder investigation, as well as drug and money seizures throughout the country have been attributed to this course and are discussed during the presentation.


Law Enforcement on the Stand

Caren Cambre

Jefferson Parish Louisian District Attorney's Office, Kings County New York District Attorney's Office (Retired)

All the work done during an investigation can be undone after testifying. The case is not closed until the testimony convicts the defendant. Law enforcement witness training is a critical weapon in that fight. For investigations to result in convictions, officers must give effective and credible testimony. Credible testimony makes arrests count, but even an excellent prosecutor does not have the teaching skills necessary to properly prepare law enforcement to testify. Lawyers are taught how to ask the questions, but it is the answers given that win or lose cases. Officers deserve to be taught how to answer the questions. Officers will be trained to correctly define their job when called to testify. He/or she will understand the importance of testimony, as a part of effective law enforcement. Officers will be trained to evaluate communication methods. He /or she will learn skills to improve basic communication when called as a witness. Officers will learn skills needed to translate information written in reports to effective oral testimony. He/or she will be able to identify issues in reports that will cause problems as a witness. Officers will focus on how public opinions of law enforcement can influence perceptions of testimony.  He/or she will learn skills to improve their attitude and demeanor as a witness. Officers will be taught to properly define the purpose of direct testimony. He/or she will learn skills needed to compose and deliver effective direct testimony. Officers will be taught the legal requirements for exhibits to be admissible. He/or she will learn to identify the possible sources and purposes of exhibits. Officers will focus on the value of preparation. He/or she will be taught skills to make preparation more effective. Officers will be taught to properly define the purpose of cross- examination.  He/or she will learn to deliver more effective answers to questions asked by defense counsel. Officers will focus on understanding the most common legal objections.  He/or she will learn how to compose and deliver testimony to avoid these objections. Officers will be given an overview of common trial procedures.  He/or she will learn how to most effectively integrate their testimony to those overall procedures.

Mindset and Methods of Sovereign Citizens Extremist

Joe Craig

Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

This presentation will examine the current state of and the evolution of the Sovereign Citizen movement. Those in attendance will discuss what motivates the Sovereign Citizen, and why they believe the movement and ideology is based on an individual's right to reject their U.S citizenship status. As well as attendees will understand the conspiracy-laden view of past interruption of specific historical documents that provide their legal arguments against law enforcement and other government agencies. At the completion of this presentation officers will have learned why Sovereign Citizens see the United States of America as a corporation and use this belief as the reason for them to reject the government and its laws.

Gang Shift from Narcotics to Fraud

Craig Catlin

Vice President of Fraud Investigations, Synchrony Financial

This presentation will cover a summary on why gangs and their criminal activity have shifted from involving narcotics to financial crimes.  During the presentation you will learn how to understand the methods that gangs are using to execute their financial crimes such as: stolen identities for credit card fraud, tax refunds, unemployment etc.  Detailed strategies of investigating fraud investigations from a traffic stop to a federal indictment will also be examined.

MS-13 Revised

Tony Avendorph

Prince George's County Police Department (Retired)

This course will cover the revised MS-13 update and all that encompasses successfully understanding and investigating MS-13. Beginning with identifying members in comparison to associates as well as the ideologies and mindsets of those affiliated.  As well as the methods of operation, illicit activities and current trends, the violence, power and control that stems from involvement and the international reach.  Aspects of officer safety issues will also be discussed.

Course Objectives:

  • Methods of Operation
  • Illicit Activities & Current Trends
  • Power & Control
  • Identifying Members vs Associates
  • Ideologies & Mindset
  • International Reach
  • Violence
  • Officer Safety Issues
  • How to investigate MS-13