By John C. Smith
Copyright 2001

Developing a history of HTCIA is an ongoing process that requires the input of those who were involved as the organization developed and progressed.  If you have any information or comments about this history please email or call me.

The following represents the how the first high tech crime association was formed and some of the people who were involved.  This representation is from my involevement &memory, records for the original State of California OCJP grant, and discussions with involved parties.  I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can add to any information about our group.  I believe that HTCIA will eventually be seen as one of the most significant and important enforcement associations ever and therefore I think we should document how it started.

The High Technology Crime Investigation Association (hereafter called HTCIA) is one of the most successful organizations in United States that features law enforcement and private industry working together.  HTCIA had its beginning in the early 1980's when security managers in Silicon Valley saw a need for law enforcement investigators who understood industry in Silicon Valley and were trained to investigate high technology and comuter crime.

This article attempt to set forth how HTCIA started and tell of some of the people who played significant roles. In 1984, several members of the Santa Clara County Industrial Security Manager's Group, including John O'Loughlin (now retired but security manager at Intel at that time and later Sun Microsystems) and Pete Kostner, security manager at AMD, approached Santa Clara County District Attorney Leo Himmelsbach to discuss the need for having law enforcement officers trained in the field of high technology crime.

Leo Himmelsbach then applied to the State of California and received a grant from the Office of Criminal Justice Planning Project approved by the Calif State Assembly, State Assembly Bill 1078 passed into law August 31, 1984, Penal Code Section 13970 (GrntProjSummry) called " SANTA CLARA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S HIGH TECHNOLOGY CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAM"

The following is the grant project summary (copy of original) :



District Attorney's Technology Theft Association

Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
County Government Center, West Wing
San Jose, CA 95110

GRANT PERIOD From Mar 1/85 to Feb 28/87 to FUNDS REQUESTED: $238,216.00

High-technology crime has become a growing phenomenon which has paralleled the spectacular growth of high-technology industry in California. At the same time prosecutors and law enforcement's ability to respond to this new kind of crime has not kept pace.


1. To increase awareness, and commitment of time spent, by participating agency personnel.
2. To create a central intelligence clearing house for information on high-technology crime.
3. To train unit participants in the area of high-technology theft investigation.
4. To effectively prosecute high-technology cases in Santa Clara County.
5.. To establish a statistical base for high-technology crimes in Santa Clara County.
6. To establish a high-technology resource library for law enforcement and prosecutors

1. Receive a commitment from county law enforcement officials of investigative personnel time.
2. Purchase and implement computer enhancements. Training personnel in computer use, develop instruments to collect information.
3. Train personnel in high-technology theft investigation.
4. Train attorneys in high-technology theft prosecution.
5. Develop an instrument to gather crime trend data.
6. Collect and make available high-technology information to prosecutors and investigators.

EVALUATION: OCJP will direct the program evaluation/

Leo Himmelsbach, (District Attorney of Santa Clara County) Project Director

DATE 2-5-85

The California Attorney General appointed an High-Technology Crime Prevention Program Advisory Board (copy of original AdvisoryBoard.jpg ) consisting of the following members:

Santa Clara County
High-Technology Crime Prevention Program
Advisory Board

Mr. Richard G. Brannan                                                      Mr. John C. Smith
Chief of Police                                                                     Chief of Police
City of Los Altos                                                                 City of Mountain View
Los Altos, CA 94022                                                          Mountain View, CA 94041

Mr. Jim Hacker                                                                    Mr. Charles Casey
Corporate Security Manager                                                Division Chief
Hewlett-Packard Company                                                  State of California, Department of Justice
Palo Alto, CA 94304                                                           Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement

Mr. Joseph D. McNamara                                                   Honorable Leo F. Himmelsbach
Chief of Police                                                                     District Attorney
City of San Jose                                                                   County of Santa Clara
San Jose, CA 95103                                                             San Jose, CA 95110

Honorable Robert E. Winter                                                 Mr. Wayne B. Dexter
Sheriff                                                                                   Corporate Security Manager
County of Santa Clara                                                          Avantek, Inc.
San Jose, CA 95110                                                               Santa Clara, CA 95020

Mr. Peter Costner Security Manager
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Sunnyvale, CA 94088

Advisory Board members Wayne Dexter and John C. Smith are still HTCIA members. John Smith was president of the Silicon Valley Chapter of HTCIA in 1990 and 1995 when he was the lead Criminal Investigator of the High Tech Theft /Computer Crime Team in the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office.

The original high tech investigations group was called DATTA for District Attorney's Technology Theft Association. DATTA began holding meeting and training. Attached is an undated but very early sign in sheet that shows the names of three of the original members who are still members of HTCIA, Lee Curtis (then IRS), Rich Berness (then FBI), and Pete Pearson, Santa Clara Police Department. (EarlySignInSheet.jpg )

The incorporation of HTCIA as it is now known, started as part of the 1985 OCJP grant "Project Objectives and Activities".  Program Objective 7 states,

"To effectively prosecute high-tecnology cases in Santa Clara County and to assist in the creation of an effective prosecutorial foundation in thos California Counties targeted for this project."
The grant Activities listed for Objective 7 states,
"Within the first year of the project we will train San Francisco Bay area investigators and prosecutors in high-technolgy theft investigation.  In year two we will target for training those counties especially in Southern California  with an abundant number of high-technology industries.  We will establish a close liaison with prosecutorial staffs of thos counties and the Attorney General's office."
During this time, law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles area attended DATTA training and wanted to start their own organization in Southern California.  Another of the program objective in the original OCJP grant was "To establish an organization base that will provide the nucleus for the development of a regional high-techology theft prevention effort." (OCJP Grant Contract Feb 1985).   An OCJP Quarterly Progress Report shows in a summary of activities description that this program objective was shown as being met by: (copy of report page)
"Over the last five years that DATTA has been in existence we have seen the developoment of a regional high-technology theft prevention effort.  DATTA is now established in the greater Bay Area with 49 law enforcement jurisdictions committed to the DATTA concept.  In 1986 established DATTA in Southern California through the High-Technology Crime Investigator's Association.  This association includes over 30 Southern California law enforcement jurisdictions and will be presenting a state-wide high-technology crime investigation training seminar in the summer of 1988."
Stan Kinkade, Oange County Sheriff's Dept informed me that the moving force in writing the first by-laws, for HTCIA was Sgt. Robert ("Bob") Brown, now retired, of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept. Major Fraud Detail assisted by  Detective (Grade 5) Jim Black of the Los Angles Police Dept, also now retired.  The first H.T.C.I.A. meeting  that formed HTCIA was held at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept where there were approximately 12 people present.  Later the chapter meetings were held at the Rockwell Aerospace Division, Seal Beach, Calif.   Jim Rogan, Security Manager, Northrup Aviation, was the second president of the Southern Calif Chapter of HTCIA.  Later Jim Black was chapter President.

Members of the Southern California Chapter filed for incorporation as a non-profit, public benefit corportion #1457907 as of (3-17-89 not exacty sure of this date).   Lee McCown, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Depart was elected as the first Chairman of the Board.   In 1990 the HTCIA Board of Directors were:

Chairman H. James Rogan
Northrup Corporation
Manager Corporate Information
Los Angeles, California

George Emery
Northrup Corporation   (retired)
Altadena, California

Clay W. Hodson
Riverside County District Attorney
Economic Crimes Unit Supervising Investigator
Riverside, California
President-So. Calif. Chapter

James K. Black
Detective III
Computer Crime Unit
Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles, California 90012

Kenneth Citarella
Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Assisstant District Attorney
White Plains, New York
President-Northeast Chapter

Charles L. Grimm
San Diego Police  Department
Forgery/Fraud/Bunco Unit
San Diego, California

Dick Gibbons
Compaq Computer Corporation
Manager of Investigations
Houston, Texas
President-Southwest Chapter

Louis Herbert
Riverside County District Attorney's
Bureau Of Investigations
Forensic Technician
Riverside, California
Abigail Abraham
Illinois State Police
Chicago, Illinois 60652
President-Midwest Chapter

William G. Vetesy
TRW   Telecommunications
Security Manager
Redondo Beach, California

In 1990,  the District Attorney's Technolgy Theft Association of Santa Clara County affiliated with the other HTCIA chapters and became the Silicon Valley Chapter of HTCIA.  I was chapter president at the time and met with the officers of the Southern California Chapter at one of the  Southern California HTCIA training courses held in Newport Beach, Calif.  It was at this meeting of HTCIA chapters that it was agreed that private investigators would be allowed to be members of HTCIA.  This was agreed to because Silicon Valley Chapter had several very active members who were private investigators and did considerable work for the high tech industry.  I

In a letter to Chapter presidents, James Rogan Chairman of the Board stated that HTCIA had a total national membership of over 380 people

Southern California began sponsoring yearly three (3) day training course that provided an excellent place to get training that was difficult to find and the opportunity to talk with other investigators who acutually understood what you were working on.

In 1990 the Silicon Valley started holding one day training courses.  In 1992, we hosted the annual HTCIA national seminar which was held at the Double Tree Hotel near the San Jose Airport.  In 1996, I worked with the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Center, (Evergreen College), San Jose, CA and we configured our Silicon Valley annual training seminar so that it was covered under Calif Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) guidelines.  The first three day POST seminar was held at Applied Materials where we were hosted by Jim McMahon and Applied Materials.

Silicon Valley HTCIA & DATTA Chapter Presidents
John Smith 89/90, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
Curt Cody 90/91, Fremont Police Dept
Jamie Tranter, United States Customs
Stephan Mick 1994, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
John Smith, 1995
Ray Smith, Santa Clara Police Dept 
Joe Chiramonte, Sun Microsystems (Retired FBI)
Daryl Spano, Lockheed Martin WDL
Lee Curtis,  Santa Clara District Attorney's Office (Retired Special Agent IRS)
Stephen Ronco, San Jose Police Dept
Cynthia Navarro, Adobe Systems

Southern Calif (Incorporated HTCIA as the organization it is today).  The following are some of the original and early members.
Lee McCown LA Cnty Sheriff - First President
Bob Brown LA Cnty Sheriff
Stan Kinkade Orange Cnty Sheriff 714/647-7025
Jim Black LAPD
James Rogan
Clay Hodson Riverside DA
George Emery
Lou Herbert
Richard Hite Riverside DA
Tom Gleeson Riverside DA  

New York
Ken Citarella

MidWest Chapter
Abigail Abraham
Jim Murray

Copyright 2001, John C. Smith