Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wins 2018 Biometric Identification Award

The FBI’s 2018 Biometric Identification Award recipient is the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas, Nevada, for their work in using a palm print to identify the perpetrator of a burglary and attempted sexual assault.

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On September 12, 2018, the FBI’s Biometric Services Section presented the 2018 Biometric Identification Award to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) for its staff members’ diligent efforts using the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System to solve a 2016 sexual assault case.

The LVMPD’s case began November 7, 2016, with an emergency call regarding a home invasion. Upon arrival, officers encountered an injured elderly woman. The victim, who lived alone, had been awakened by a noise in her bathroom. A male suspect had entered her apartment by standing on an outside table and prying open her sliding bathroom window. Once inside, he attempted to sexually assault the victim, who screamed and resisted. The suspect gave up on his physical assault, demanded money, then fled out the front door.

A senior crime scene analyst processed evidence from the crime scene including a latent palm print from a tile near the bathtub and the window sill where the suspect entered the residence. A forensic scientist fruitlessly compared all latent prints with the data in the Nevada Automated Fingerprint Identification System, then had better results when he queried the NGI System. Within four hours, the NGI System search returned viable candidates for comparison—which resulted in a positive identification to a registered sex offender.

Two days later, officers arrested the suspect and charged him with burglary, attempted sexual assault, battery to commit sexual assault, and robbery. Although he refused to provide a motive, investigators noted that he was unemployed, homeless, and familiar with the victim.

On January 9, 2017, the suspect pleaded guilty to felony attempted sexual assault. The court sentenced him to eight to 20 years of incarceration with lifetime supervision.

For more information about how the NGI System can assist your agency, please call 304-625-5590.