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Cellular Phone Data Extraction and Analysis


  • Cell Phone Forensics

  • Geolocation and Tracking

  • Cell Phone Provider Record Analysis

I want to thank all the agencies, corporations, law firms and individuals who trusted me with engagements to work on electronic discovery and computer forensics over the past 25 years.  It has been a fantastic journey that kept me right at the forefront of innovations affecting the internet, database management, data destruction, data recovery, and the credentialing of expert witnesses in these fields.  By the time we stopped counting a few years ago, my firm had worked on more than 10,000 hard drives and more than 1500 cellular phones, extracting close to an exabyte (that’s 1,000,000 terabytes) of data for analysis, search and production.  I have worked in 42 states and testified as an expert witness in deposition, in a hearing, or at trial or arbitration proceedings, more than 250 times.


Beginning July 1, 2020, my practice will focus solely on cell phones and closely related issues.  My services, including my most commonly engaged fixed rate cell phone forensics package, are as follows:

Cellular Phone Data Extraction and Analysis

Forensic Capture of phone data, including recoverable deleted files.  This work requires physical access to the cell phone.  Typically, password or security features must be either disabled by the phone custodian or provided to me.  Once the phone data is captured, I can search for, export, and report on the content and metadata of more than 1200 applications, including:

  • Phone calls (made, received, missed)

  • Downloaded VoiceMail Messages

  • Email stored on Phone (from more than 100 email platforms)

  • Text-type messages and attachments (more than 200 texting applications)

  • Photos and Video

  • Social Media information stored on Phone (from more than 500 platforms)

  • Geolocation data

  • Wireless internet connection history

  • Browser Search History

  • Contacts including frequent and recent contacts

  • And More . . . .

I can also search for evidence of user or application deletion of file data and metadata.  While many users have the necessary skills to download tools to permanently delete files or “factory reset” a phone, it is nearly impossible in my experience to hide the evidence that this has been done.   Therefore, while I may not be able to recover irretrievably deleted files, I will, if it occurred, be prepared to testify that deliberate deletion occurred. 

The cost for this package is $1250.00, payable as an Advance Fee Deposit.  The following services are included:

  • Initial consultation and Execution of Engagement.

  • Delivery, if desired, of a phone box to send entire phone to my lab in Twisp, Washington, via UPS or Federal Express.(The days of couriering phones around the country are over.I have sent and received many hundreds of phones through both Federal Express and UPS.I have had a single issue as of this writing in 2020:a phone did not arrive, and the package was slashed open.Investigation of video evidence by Federal Express determined that the damage was done to the package, and the phone removed, by the person who claimed to have sent the phone to me.)

  • Instructions, if desired, on how to set up a substitute phone for use while the target phone is in transit or being processed.(A user’s phone may be out of their hands for as many as three business days.There are many work-arounds to ease the sting.)

  • Physical Capture of the phone using Cellebrite, Oxygen, or other top-tier phone forensic tools.

  • Return of phone to continental United States address via UPS or Federal Express.

  • Up to two hours of post-capture forensic analysis, including searches, exports and report generation.In most cases two hours is sufficient.

If I cannot extract any data (that is, I get zero data) from the phone, your advance fee deposit will be returned to you in full, unless the failure to capture is for one of the following reasons:

  • Phone is encrypted or otherwise security protected, and the appropriate credentials are not timely provided to me.

  • Phone arrives damaged in a way that prevents data extraction (including most commonly damage to the charging port, damaged screen, or immersion in water). Please note that in many cases we have retrieved data from smashed, submerged and shorted out phones.

  • Phone is not as described in the Engagement form and is a type for which I do not have charging adaptors or the ability to connect to forensic capture software (this is rare).

If any of these reasons prevent data extraction, I will retain a service fee of $500.

Cell Phone Records Analysis

Increasingly, and especially in criminal cases, the target cell phone is not available but the Service Provider records are.  These records reveal call histories, text trafficking and browser histories and, of course, geolocation records based on cell tower “pings.”  By examining a series of tower pings along with the azimuth and intensity of the tower signal, a map of the cell phone’s (and thus often the cell phone custodian’s) travels can be used to dramatic effect with juries and arbitration panels.  However, service records are far from perfect, and over the years have displayed a number of errors.  Examining cell phone records and determining what is reliable and what should be discounted is a time-consuming process that typically involves thousands of pages of data.  I typically charge for 20 hours per set of phone records for this service.  My rate for private parties and corporations is $400 per hour; my nonprofit/government/ prosecution/criminal defense rate is $250 per hour.   There are some economies of scale in matters involving multiple cell phones, and I pass these on to the Engaging party.

Please give me as much lead time as possible for cell phone records analysis.  There are often missing records that must be sought from responsible officials or cell phone service providers.  This can take weeks or months to resolve.

Additional Services related to Cell Phones

On an hourly basis, I also provide the following services related to Cell Phones.  My rate for private parties and corporations is $400 per hour; my nonprofit/government/prosecution/criminal defense rate is $400 per hour.  Purely technical time (for example, exporting additional data from phone captures) is charged at $250 per hour to all engaging parties.

Technical Services ($250/hour): phone searching, extraction or analysis time in addition to two hours for unusually complex phone projects; extraction of backed up/archived phone records (e.g., iCloud, Verizon backup); extraction of email from online sources where insufficient email is present on the phone; onsite phone extraction. (This last including travel time to and from extraction site; minimum time charged is 10 hours. Not Recommended!)

Expert/Consulting Services ($400/$250/hour): Formal report preparation regarding services provided; interviews and deposition by opposing party; testimony including waiting time.

“Legacy” Services: Thank you again to all who have engaged my other, non-cell phone, forensic and electronic discovery services in the past. Although I no longer offer these services (with the exception of the occasional e-discovery mediation), I remain closely tied to the industry. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are looking for a referral anywhere in the United States. I will try to always give you three good names.

Contact me: Send me an email or call my cell phone.
If you do not have those coordinates, contact me through this website’s Contact form and we will start a relationship that way.
Thank you! 

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