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Steven C. Drielak

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Hot Zone Forensics: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Evidence Collection
Steven C. Drielak  More Info

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Response and Investigation
Steven C. Drielak  More Info

Environmental Crime: Evidence Gathering and Investigative Techniques
Steven C. Drielak  More Info

About the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office

The District Attorney's staff numbers more than 400 and includes approximately 150 Assistant District Attorneys. In addition to Assistant District Attorneys, other positions include: Detective Investigator, District Attorney Investigator, Evidence Control Clerk, Victim Advocate, Legal Stenographer/Grand Jury Reporter, Security Guard, and Legal Secretary. The Suffolk County District Attorney's is New York State's busiest prosecutor's office in the State of New York outside of the City of New York. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is organized into a number of bureaus and units.


The District Court Bureau is primarily responsible for prosecuting both misdemeanor crimes and violations, including Driving While Intoxicated and various quality of life crimes committed in Suffolk County. Specialized teams within the Bureau also prosecute bias crimes, welfare fraud, graffiti cases, sex offenses, gang crimes, prostitution, animal cruelty and scofflaws. In 2005, the District Court Bureau prosecuted over 30,000 cases, or about 600 new cases every week.


The Major Crime Bureau investigates and prosecutes felony cases in Suffolk County, including, but not limited to robberies, burglaries, assaults, sexual assaults including rape, forgery, vehicular felonies and homicide cases, that result in arrests or indictments for manslaughter and/or criminally negligent homicide.


One of the main responsibilities of the bureau is the investigation and supervision of motor vehicle accident cases in Suffolk County that result in the death or physical injury from reckless or criminally negligent conduct. These investigations involve alcohol and drug evidence; accident investigations and reconstruction by expert witnesses; toxicological and forensic analysis; and disposition and/or trial of these cases.


The Economic Crimes Bureau (ECB) is responsible for prosecuting Larcenies, Economic Frauds, Consumer Frauds, Public Integrity, Environmental Crimes, Labor Law Crimes, Insurance Fraud Civil Forfeiture, Computer Crimes and conducting complex litigation efforts.  The theme uniting the varied work done by the Economic Crimes Bureau is the motivation of those prosecuted by the Bureau.  Whether they engage in traditional schemes to defraud, violate the public trust, despoil the environment or defraud the elderly, the persons prosecuted by the Economic Crimes Bureau are almost all driven by a lust for financial gain at the expense of others


Environmental crimes typically involve the violation for financial gain of statutes designed to protect the natural environment, executed through schemes involving the falsification of regulatory documents and filings.  Specifically, the Environmental Crimes Unit prosecutes illegal “on-site” disposal of waste, “off-site” cases commonly referred to as “midnight dumping”, deforestation of Pine Barrens and other publicly owned land and the illegal commercialization of fish & wildlife.  The Environmental Crimes Unit investigators are on 24-hour call to respond to environmental crime scenes or other HAZMAT emergencies requiring their expertise. 




Steven C. Drielak is a retired Lieutenant from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.  His last assignment was as the commanding officer of the Environmental Crimes Unit. After leaving the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Steven Drielak became the Director, Homeland Security Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Steven Drielak is the author of Hot Zone Forensics: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Evidence Collection and Environmental Crime: Evidence Gathering and Investigative Techniques.  He is also the co-author of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Response and Investigation with Thomas Brandon.


According to the book description of Environmental Crime: Evidence Gathering and Investigative Techniques, “The purpose of this book is to guide the new criminal investigator who is about to enter the highly-regulated and complex field of criminal environmental investigation. This type of criminal investigation has a "steep learning curve." Every hazardous waste evidence-gathering operation is strictly regulated by numerous laws and mandated procedures. This book has been written in a format that will take the new investigator successfully through this learning process. In addition, the text provides the comprehensive procedures and techniques necessary to successfully complete a criminal environmental investigation. Some of the major issues addressed include training, equipment, available resources, gathering probable cause, search warrant team structure, search warrant execution, gathering evidence in a hot zone, drum tracing techniques, and sampling and analysis for criminal evidence. Each of the investigative techniques and procedures described in the book have been successfully used in criminal environmental prosecutions, and each chapter has been designed as a comprehensive reference to assist the environmental investigator with the individual tasks he or she may face.”


According to the book description of Hot Zone Forensics: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Evidence Collection, “Hot Zone Forensics is a detailed description of the evidence collection protocols that will be required in criminal cases involving the release of a chemical agent, biological agent, or radiological material. This book sets the standards for the methods that may be used by local, state and federal investigative law enforcement officers when locating and collecting hazardous evidence in airborne, liquid, solid, surface and dermal form. Sampling protocols from OSHA, NIOSH, EPA, DOE, CDC, Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Convention have each been examined in an effort to provide law enforcement with a clear understanding of the many underlying evidence collection and prosecution issues associated with this type of criminal evidence collection. Detailed evidence collection protocols and equipment requirements for chemical, biological and radiological evidence are provided along with complete explanations as to why each protocol is recommended. The recommended collection protocols provided in this book have been designed to meet the many rigorous challenges that may be faced during the criminal trial process. Criminal investigators and prosecutors will find this book a useful guide when establishing their own evidence collection standards for chemical, biological, and radiological evidence.”

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