Syntricate

About Us

Digital Investigations Training Team

Syntricate instructors are vastly experienced and recognized veterans in their respective fields. Each instructor is privy to the most current technology and will strive to ensure that you reap the benefits of that knowledge. You will not find a more skilled and qualified group of individuals who exude excellence in communication, training techniques, and subject matter. The ongoing Syntricate goal is ensuring the best return on your training investment.

Robert Buhecker

Bob Buhecker

Senior Instructor

Bob is a Senior instructor with Syntricate. Prior to joining the Syntricate Team he was an Instructor for Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy where he taught basic digital evidence seizure through computer forensics. He also currently works for Canal Fulton Police Department where is a a patrolman and an Internet Crimes Against Children affiliate.

Bob has an Associate's Degree in Computer Forensics in Cyber Security and Computer Forensics as well as a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a certified Evidence Recovery Specialist in a Digital Environment through OPOTA as well as ACE certification (AccessData Certified Examiner) through AccessData.

Todd Careless

Todd Careless

Manager of Curriculum Development

As a Senior Instructor, Todd is responsible for teaching and development of a wide variety of training courses for Syntricate. Todd was a contract instructor for Syntricate for four years and was also an adjunct computer forensic instructor for several private companies, prior to joining the Syntricate staff full time in April 2014. He spent 6 years as a Law Enforcement Training Officer for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) as the lead computer forensic and computer investigation instructor. Prior to that, he was a police officer for the City of Norwalk, Ohio where he was a road patrol officer, evidence technician and computer forensic investigator. Todd has taught courses for Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement agencies, U.S. and International government examiners as well as numerous civilian organizations.

"Todd is well versed in the most current version of FTK. He is clear in his speaking and attentive to questions."

Robert Comella

Robert Comella

Senior Instructor

Robert L. Comella is an IT consultant, project manager, trainer and speaker with expertise in open and closed sourced solutions. Robert's primary focus is information security.

An alum of the STI (SANS Technology Institute), Comella has attained his master's degree in information security engineering.

Comella is a contributing writer and researcher of, "Protecting Your Business from On-line Fraud", currently posted on the SANS website. Comella is also a SANS Mentor, exam question author, and advisory board member.

In his professional career, Robert is a senior trainer of cyber security for Syntricate. Robert is responsible for teaching several cyber security classes and generating new material for new classes. The classes cover a myriad of security topics including both offensive and defensive network security.

Comella is also an independent consultant and principal of Gremlins' Computer Solutions (GCS), located near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. GCS specializes in education, open and closed source solutions and information security. GCS has provided technical expertise to organizations small to large, admin to production. As a member of the Pittsburgh chapter of InfraGard he maintains a relationship with local FBI cyber-crime experts.

Valerie Hantke

Riley Carper

Senior Instructor

Riley Carper is a Senior Instructor with Syntricate and currently teaches at the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy in Linthicum, Maryland. He trains students in core technologies and incident response. Riley is a 7-year veteran of the United States Air Force where he was a Signals Intelligence Analyst and a High Frequency Collection and Geolocations Systems Trainer. While in the Air Force John provided training to over 250 joint force and civilian personnel. Riley is a CompTIA CTT+ Certified Technical Instructor.

Dustin Hurlbut

Dustin Hurlbut

Senior Instructor

As an instructor Dustin provides instruction, develops, and refines training seminars to assist both novice and expert computer specialists in computer seizure, digital analysis, and password recovery. This includes research and experimentation to provide analysis methods for evolving digital media and applications. Dustin brings with him over thirty years of commissioned law enforcement experience having retired from the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office in Bellingham, WA where he began working with seizing and analyzing digital media in 1992. Dustin has worked and consulted with local, state, and federal law enforcement on both criminal and civil cases. Dustin is a past Certified Forensic Computer Examiner with the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS), has served as Director of Training for that organization, and has instructed related classes for IACIS as well as classes for other state, local, and federal jurisdictions since 1994. Dustin began working for AccessData as a senior instructor in January of 2004 and holds both AccessData Certified Examiner and AccessData Certified Instructor certificates. He is currently employed full time for the forensic training company; Syntricate.

"Dustin is a great instructor. He is very knowledgeable on computer forensics. He presented the material well and kept my attention. I learned some of the new features added into FTK. I re-learned some things I had forgotten. Thanks Dustin!!!"

Nick Jenkins

Nick Jenkins

Senior Instructor for Syntricate Mobile Forensics

Nick Jenkins is a Senior Instructor for Syntricate Mobile Forensics. Prior to Syntricate, he was employed as a Computer Forensic Specialist by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for over three years. He was involved with numerous criminal investigations and has testified as an expert witness. Those investigations would range from computers to a variety of mobile and embedded devices. Nick would also perform research and train both internally and to outside law enforcement agencies. He enjoys working on technological problems and learning more on how the technology works.

Jim Martin

Jim Martin

Senior Instructor

Jim Martin is a senior training instructor with Syntricate Inc. Prior to joining Syntricate, he was a senior instructor with AccessData. Before joining the private sector, Jim was a special agent with the U.S. Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security-Investigations. He has over 30 years of federal law enforcement in a multitude of investigative case categories. The last fourteen years of his federal career were spent in the computer forensics field.As a special agent/computer investigative specialist, he acquired and examined computer evidence ranging from Windows systems, Mac and Linux systems as well from corporate and network environments. He has instructed at Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, Georgia, the U.S. Secret Service Training Center in Beltsville, Maryland and the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover, Alabama. Jim was also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston-College of Information Technology where he taught both basic and advance computer forensics. His certifications include AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE), EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE) and Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE). He is also a member of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA).

"I enjoyed Jim's stories and how he relates what we are doing in class to real life applications"

John Minotti

John Minotti

Director of University Support

John is the Director of Academic Initiatives at "Syntricate" where his primary responsibilities are curriculum development for new and existing college, university cyber forensic, and work force development programs.

John comes from AccessData where he managed the Houston Forensic Lab and oversaw the AccessData Internship program. John has also worked with CF360 where he was responsible for lab management and leading the development and auditing of ESI and forensic policies and procedures. John was part of an ESI auditing team contracted by Guidance Software where he was responsible for auditing forensic and ESI procedures as well as developing and updating the ESI standard operating procedures for a Fortune 100 company. John was also a certified AccessData instructor, where he taught Law Enforcement, Military, and Private Sector students on subjects including: acquisition methods, decryption technology, and forensic analysis of digital media. John co-founded the computer forensic firm Acquisition Data in 2003 and holds several certifications.

Chris Sanft

Senior Instructor

Mr. Sanft is a Senior Instructor with Syntricate. He is involved in developing and teaching all of the many classes that Syntricate offers. He has trained at the United States Secret Service National Computer Forensic Institute. Prior to joining Syntricate, Mr. Sanft was a fulltime instructor with AccessData. Prior to working for Accessdata he was a contractor performing computer forensics for the US Army in Iraq. In addition, Mr. Sanft was a computer crime training specialist with SEARCH Group Inc, Sacramento, CA. For almost eight years he coordinated and provided training to local, State and Federal criminal justice agencies both in California and at other locations nationwide. Mr. Sanft provided technical assistance to various law enforcement organizations on computer crime and forensics issues. Mr. Sanft was instrumental in developing the Cell Phone Data Recovery class offered by SEARCH Groups Inc. Mr. Sanft was a staff member of the National White Collar Crime Center (NWCCC), Fairmont, West Virginia. Prior to joining NWCCC, Mr. Sanft spent almost six years as a Financial Investigator with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minneapolis, MN. He investigated white-collar crime, financial aspects of arson, and computer crime. He also dealt with narcotics forfeitures. Mr. Sanft has taught a number of MN POST and CA POST certified courses to law enforcement. Mr. Sanft participated in over 30 search warrants involving computer evidence. Mr. Sanft has degrees in Business Administration and Criminal Justice. Mr. Sanft is a member of the High Technology Crime Investigator's Association, and Association of Certified Fraud Examiner. Mr. Sanft is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Encase Certified Examiner (EnCE), AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE), AccessData Certified Instructor (ACI).

"Chris was a very good instructor who could answer the students question and if he couldn't he would get back to us after he researched the answer."

Justin Tolman

Justin Tolman

Senior Instructor

Justin Tolman is a Senior Instructor for the Mobile Forensics division. Prior to joining Syntricate, he served as a contract instructor for AccessData. Justin spent several years as a Computer Forensic Specialist in Ohio. In addition to investigations, he assisted in the training of law enforcement personal around the state in matters of digital forensics. Justin has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Technology from Brigham Young University - Idaho, and a Master's Degree in Computer Forensics from Purdue University.

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