Busted…with the Help of NICS and IAFIS

October 24, 2014
Originally published in the October 2014 edition of the CJIS Link, Volume 16, Number 2

On June 2, the Special Processing Center (SPC) of the CJIS Division’s Biometric Services Section received a fingerprint comparison request from the Los Angeles Field Office. The request stated that two subjects in custody in Mexico were suspected of being Bureau fugitives. The fugitives had been wanted since November 12, 1997, by the Los Angeles Field Office for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution and Child Molestation. The request included four sets of fingerprints–two from the fugitives’ original case file dated November 7, 1996, and two from the suspects’ arrest in Mexico on May 27, 2014–so SPC personnel could perform a comparison to determine if the subjects were Bureau fugitives. SPC employees logged the request and positively identified the case file fingerprints to the Mexican arrest fingerprints. Because the request involved Bureau fugitives, the request was sent to the Answer Hits to Wants (AHTW) team to clear the wants. Within three hours of the inquiry, a response was sent to the Los Angeles Field Office.

On July 9, a legal instruments examiner with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section processed a transaction for a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), a pawn shop in Victoria, Texas, for a long gun purchase. The NICS examiner identified a Texas state record with a drug conviction in the Interstate Identification Index, i.e., III, and a warrant in the National Crime Information Center (i.e., NCIC) for the potential purchaser. The warrant was issued by the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office in Victoria, Texas, for a probation violation. The NICS examiner contacted the wanting agency to confirm the status of the warrant, and the wanting agency advised that the warrant was active. Based on the information received, the NICS examiner provided the FFL with a deny status and obtained information on the attempted purchase, including the individual’s current address. The NICS examiner then supplied all applicable information to the wanting agency. The clerk from the sheriff’s office advised that the FFL was just down the street from the office, and a deputy was dispatched to apprehend the subject at the store.