High-tech crimes task force founder charged

Josh Moulin, who started and led the Southern Oregon team, is accused of official misconduct and computer crimes

The former Central Point police lieutenant who founded and headed the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force faces official misconduct and computer-crime charges alleging he knowingly altered or damaged a police computer or software in 2012.

Josh Moulin was arraigned on one felony and one misdemeanor computer crime charge and a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Moulin told the Mail Tribune he believes the charges swirl around the way he returned a Central Point Police Department-issued laptop computer after he was placed on nondisciplinary paid administrative leave in May 2012.

He declined to be specific, saying his legal team must first review a compact disc with the state's evidence that was given to him Friday by prosecutors.

Moulin, who now lives in Nevada, said he was innocent, that he has passed three polygraph tests with questions similar to the charges against him and that he plans a vigorous defense.

"We were surprised to see the case still moving forward," he said in a telephone interview.

Moulin was indicted secretly on the charges in February by a Jackson County grand jury after an Oregon Department of Justice review of the Oregon State Police investigation.

His next court date is set for May 12, court records show.

DOJ spokeswoman Kristin Edmunson declined further comment.

The felony charge outlined in the indictment alleges Moulin knowingly altered, damaged or destroyed a computer or software, while the misdemeanor charge alleges that he knowingly used, accessed or attempted to access a computer, software or data on a system.

The official misconduct charge alleges that Moulin illegally used his position as a public servant while committing those alleged crimes, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges the crimes all occurred on May 16, 2012.

Moulin said he was placed on leave while Central Point police conducted an internal investigation into the management of the unit. He resigned from the department two months later after accepting a cyber-security job with a federal defense contractor in a Nevada city he declined to identify.

DOJ prosecutors in court Friday filed a motion seeking to ban Moulin from discussing the case with the media. Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Ravassipour denied the motion.

The Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force is based in Central Point. It goes back to 2005, when Moulin approached the former Central Point police chief and other city officials about forming a high-tech crimes unit.

Other agencies heard about the work the department was doing and asked for assistance and training. For the next two years, Moulin worked with the other agencies by himself.

In 2007, Medford police assigned a detective to the task force full time while adding more equipment and resources. A year later, the then-small division was providing services to 53 law enforcement agencies around the state. Eventually the task force was contacted by the FBI.

By 2011, the task force had grown to nine members from multiple agencies, including Grants Pass, Medford, Ashland, Klamath Falls and Central Point police departments, the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.


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