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Cell Phone Investigation Techniques

Jan. 12 - 13, 2023
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuition:  Free
Champaign Police Dept.
82 East University Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820
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This course is certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

Training Mandates

This course meets state guidelines for the following mandated subject areas:

  • Civil Rights
  • Constitutional Use of Law Enforcement Authority
  • Lead Homicide Investigator (16hrs)


Criminals rely on cellular telephones to facilitate their illegal activities on a daily basis. With the evolution of Smartphone technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult for law enforcement to successfully exploit cell phones. This two-day course will provide officers with a comprehensive approach to exploiting cellular devices.  This exploitation can lead to the identification of co-conspirators and help officers secure convictions in cases where only circumstantial evidence exists.  Officers will learn common cell phone terminology and understand the data they receive from cell phone companies. Many officers are unsure how to read communication detail records (CDRs).  Students will be presented with numerous examples of CDRs and will learn how to interpret every aspect of communication reports.

One of the most difficult aspects of exploiting cellular telephones is the preservation of evidence during an active investigation.  Techniques will be presented for preparing court orders and search warrants that force a cellular telephone company to preserve detailed CDRs, including the content of SMS/MMS messaging during an active investigation.  The collection of data stored in a cellular phone can be challenging and problematic without the proper exploitation equipment.  Numerous types of software and exploitation kits and equipment will be demonstrated during the course.

Wiretap investigations can produce very powerful and overwhelming evidence of guilt; however, failing to follow established protocol in obtaining wiretap orders can lead to evidence suppression and defendants evading prosecution.  This course will familiarize participants with the fundamental aspects of developing wiretap investigations, use and analysis of pen registers, how to draft wiretap affidavits, how to establish necessity, minimization requirements, and administrative roadblocks often encountered.  In ongoing Criminal Enterprises and Drug Trafficking Organizations, multiple cell phones are utilized to prevent law enforcement from monitoring and exploiting a primary phone.  With proper data and investigative tools, new phone numbers can easily be identified.  Instruction will include the most effective ways to overcome “dropped phones.”


  • Cell Phone Search Warrants and Court Orders
  • Interpretation of Call Detail Records (CDRs)
  • Preservation of Evidence during Active Investigations
  • SMS Messaging vs. Instant Messaging
  • Collecting Stored Data
  • Exploiting Cell Phone Apps
  • Cell Phone Company Resources
  • Cell Tower Data
  • GPS and WIFI Tracking
  • “Dropped Phones”
  • Trigger Fish Technology
  • Pen Registers and Wiretaps Overview
  • Legal Considerations
  • Courtroom Testimony


Byron Boston

Byron Boston, CEO
Professional Law Enforcement TrainingRead more


Please register for this course by December 29.