Acting Prosecutor Ruotolo formed the Opioid Task Force to implement a response to the opioid epidemic that is empathetic and holistic in its approach to the public health crisis, while also aggressive and strategic in its pursuit of those who profit from poisoning the people her Office is charged with protecting. Comprised of seasoned narcotics detectives and assistant prosecutor, the Opioid Task Force works with narcotics units from each law enforcement department across the county and in neighboring counties, to identify, investigate and prosecute, drug distribution networks. The Opioid Task Force also gathers intelligence following opioid overdose death investigations in an effort to get heroin, and deadly fentanyl out of our community.
In addition to conducting traditional large-scale narcotics investigations, the Opioid Task Force is also instrumental in supporting the County’s Operation Helping Hand initiatives.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crime Task Force, is a unit within the Major Crimes Division. The Unit conducts investigations involving the use of computers during the commission of a crime. The crimes may involve theft, computer hacking, distribution/possession of child exploitation images, identity theft, or other illegal activities. These investigations often will involve conducting a forensic examination of a suspect’s computer and/or computer system that has been seized by the police.
The Task Force also officers training to officers from around the County in the use of computer forensics and high-tech investigative tools. In addition to conducting proactive investigations and collaborating with municipal officers on referred cases, the investigators assigned to the Task Force also provide investigative support and assistance to other Units and Divisions within the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Unit, comprised of members of the legal and investigative staff, as well as civilian intelligence analysts and a geographic information system mapping specialist, utilizes a combination of traditional and technologically advanced investigative techniques to identify, investigate, and prosecute, individuals and organizations, such as gangs, drug trafficking enterprises, and hate groups, responsible for violence planned or erupting in Union County communities. The Intelligence Driven Prosecution Unit works closely with officers appointed to serve as Intel Liaisons from each department within Union County to share information and then proactively act on the information gathered as one united force.
Under the leadership of acting Prosecutor Ruotolo, Chief Gusmano, and Deputy Chief Jimenez, this unit has been expanded to include another member of the investigative staff with expertise in emergency response. The Counter-Terrorism Task Force work closely with the Intelligence-Driven Prosecutions Unit created by Prosecutor Ruotolo to identify, investigate, and prosecute, violent hate-motivated groups behind acts of domestic terrorism. The Task Force works closely with federal partners including the Joint-Terrorism Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.