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2004 National HIDTA Program Award

Los Angeles HIDTA - Jane Chung

In January 2004, Jane W. Chung, Contract Intelligence Analyst, joined a multi-agency investigative team of agents and analysts in support of “ Operation Vanquish Niño” . This joint FBI and ICE led investigation targeted a significant Los Angeles based “poly-drug” Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization (MDTO) involved in money laundering and the transportation of marijuana and cocaine. Both agencies had seized significant narcotics and proceeds, but not in proportion to the organization's illegal activities known to exist. They enlisted the help of the Los Angeles Joint Drug Intelligence Group (LAJDIG) to develop a method of approaching the case against three major targets who would not likely be cooperative with law enforcement after they were taken into custody.

Upon consultation with the prosecuting attorney and case agents, and assessment of the available intelligence, Jane Chung pursued the innovative formulation of a scheme to develop documentary-style videos tailored to each target with the intent to compel the key targets to cooperate with authorities. Jane dubbed the video project, “Video Dossiers” , in reference to the traditional “file and dossier” method of interrogation.

The Video Dossiers were produced using the latest computer technology available at the LAJDIG. The Video Dossiers employed the tactic of setting one target in opposition to another and exploiting the target's familial participation in criminal activities. Also, the Video Dossiers used the conventional method of feigning an abundance of knowledge on the law enforcement side by convincing the target that their crimes and behavior are well known to the authorities and it would be in their best interest to confess and cooperate.

In total, three Video Dossiers were produced and custom-tailored to three separate targets. The medium used for the Vanquish Niño Video Dossiers included still images (such as photos or seized documents), surveillance videos, consensually recorded audio conversations, excerpts from multiple line T-III wire intercepts, footage of local police traffic stops, etc. Each video illustrated each respective target's involvement and implication in the narcotics trafficking and money laundering organization. Additionally, the videos demonstrated extensive target knowledge due to audio tapes and footage of the target's family members involved in the organization, known mistresses, girlfriends, homes, businesses, associations, and travel destinations.

One segment of a target's Video Dossier depicted photographs of his teenage daughter's encounter with a local police officer. The audiotape simultaneously heard in the background is a wiretapped conversation between father (target) and daughter during which he asks her to give a man a sum of $14,500 in cash (of drug proceeds), which was hidden in their home. The Video Dossier concept has an amazing impact on the psyche of the targets and thus in turn the outcome of the investigation. Case agents have highly recommended this approach for future investigations.

Jane Chung's seven years of experience as a Counterintelligence Agent in the U.S. Army Reserves and two years as a LAJDIG Intelligence Analyst contributed to her exemplary performance on the Video Dossier project. Her understanding of Psychological Operations in the military allowed her to identify and exploit the weaknesses of the key targets in order to persuade them to cooperate with law enforcement.

The takedown and interrogations of the three key subjects is indicative of the effectiveness of the Video Dossiers . All three targets are cooperating based upon the effectiveness of this product.

Though many investigative and analytical efforts have brought this case to fruition, the crucial role of the innovative Video Dossiers was instrumental in contributing to the overall successful outcome of the “Operation Vanquish Niño”.

Additionally, Jane Chung has assisted in several multi-agency investigations in the last year and she has repeatedly proven herself to be professional when representing the LAJDIG and working with clients. Her nomination is supported through her innovative development of Video Dossiers, which at their core utilize intelligence and analytical approaches, coupled with proven psychological principles that she has ingeniously adapted for a law enforcement setting.

Video Dossiers have become a vital support product that the LAJDIG provides to its clients. The Video Dossiers help to enhance the LA-HIDTA's utility and participation in future investigations, not only enhancing the professional products available, but also promoting the analytical support offered through the HIDTA. The Video Dossiers concept should be considered a “best practice” and used as a national model for HIDTA Intelligence Support Centers in support of their clients.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005

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