On this day in 2014, Ada detective becomes computer forensics guru

Destry Musgrove

Law enforcement officials in Ada and Pontotoc County decided in 2013 if you want something done quickly, better do it yourselves.

With some forensics evidence waiting for daylight inside computers for as much as 11 months at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the following was clear:

Pontotoc County and Ada Police Department officials needed their own computer forensics guru.

Or, at least an expert in the science with all the necessary certification.

That person turned out to be Destry Musgrove with the Ada Police Detective unit. He can interrogate a computer and get all the information he wants without so much as threatening it.

The Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office, the Ada Police Department and Care Cottage (a local child advocacy group), all with a vested interest in speeding up the computer forensics process, decided last year to invest in one of their own law enforcement officials.

“I wish to congratulate Ronald Destry Musgrove and advise him of this milestone in his career,” said IACIS company president, James Dibble, in a letter to APD last week.

APD Sgt. Tracy Jackson got the notification last week that Musgrove had earned his Certified Forensic Computer Examiner certificate.

The problem of an OSBI computer backup was predictable in every way since most crimes today are at least partially accomplished with the help of some type of computer, like a cell phone, for instance.

Musgrove is the only Pontotoc County law officer to earn this type of certification.

So far, Musgrove said, cases needing his expertise are running about 50-50 between APD and the sheriff’s department.

Musgrove spent time in school last fall, and later time on his own completing his training to earn the certification.

Musgrove actually completed the work last Jan. 18.

Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian and his department provided tuition funding for Musgrove to attend the instruction in Florida, and the city of Ada had to agree to turn Musgrove loose at full salary, so he could receive and complete the necessary training in Orlando, Florida

Christian had confidence that Musgrove was the right man since he had formerly been with the sheriff’s department prior to going to work at APD.

Care Cottage also chipped in with forensics software and a “RAID” portable storage device. The new equipment and training should be invaluable to that group deal for dealing child abuse cases in a timely manner.

IACIS provides an array of membership training and certification services, and it is recognized by the international digital forensics community as the premier organization of choice for computer forensics training.

Formed in 1990, IACIS has 24 years now as a leader in digital forensics. Membership consists of law enforcement personnel from nearly 50 countries worldwide.

IACIS is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to the training and certification of professionals in the discipline of computer forensics.

Its distinguished history includes the creation of a comprehensive certification process that was the first of its kind.

The CFCE consists of complex practical exercises and written assessments whereby candidates must demonstrate proficient knowledge in multiple areas of digital forensics.

These areas include crime scene search and seizure, forensic sterilization and duplication of media; Windows Operating System artifacts, Internet history, email extraction, and preparing legal reports, to name a few.

Completion of the CFCE is not an easy endeavor and is only attained through diligence and hard work, Dibble said. “The courts generally recognized CFCE certification as a foundation in establishing the examiner as an expert in the field of digital forensics.”

Digital evidence is present in virtually every type of crime, including property crimes, intellectual property crimes, white collar crimes, and crimes against persons, such as extortion, sexual assault and homicide, Dibble said.

As a result of this increase in computer-based crimes, the scope of investigation involving digital evidence is broadening.

That’s especially true in Pontotoc County now.