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FBI uses driver’s license photos to catch fugitives (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News October 13th, 2009 @ 11:36 am by Linda 

The FBI is currently using facial recognition technology on millions of motorists. They are comparing driver’s license photos with pictures of convicts by using a high tech analysis of chin widths and nose sizes.

This project is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. State and federal laws allow driver’s license agencies to release records for law enforcement use, and local agencies are able to access to North Carolina’s database. However, the FBI is not yet authorized to collect and store the photos. That means the facial-recognition analysis must be done at the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.

This gives the FBI literally access to millions of driver’s licenses. The search takes just a couple of hours giving the FBI a virtual line-up by comparing the photos to suspected criminals and fugitives. Facial-recognition software is not entirely new, however the FBI North Carolina project is the first major step in considering expanding use of the technology to find fugitives nationwide. Recently, a fugitive who changed his name and moved to another state was captured by using this technology.

Biometric information is unique to each person and includes fingerprints and DNA. Further biometric information to be tested includes iris patterns in the eye, voices, scent and even a person’s gait.

This type of biometric information offers the FBI access to everyone’s license photo. Should you be concerned about how your driver’s license is being used? Is it right to use your photo for a de-facto law enforcement database? You make the call.

Was this medical marijuana or recreational marijuana? (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs October 8th, 2009 @ 9:58 am by Linda 

Many states have a law that says growing and selling marijuana for medical purposes is legal. Colorado is one of those states. Lately, Drug Enforcement Agents have found fields of marijuana growing in and around Colorado’s National Forest areas. It seems that mountain-grown marijuana has been a safe and productive place to grow the weed.

However, in Fairplay, Colorado, Park County Deputies found more than 1,000 pot plants growing near homes.

Fairplay is a small mountain town with modest subdivisions spread throughout the area. Because of a tip from neighbors, that there were suspicious activities going on at these homes, Deputies searched four homes in two subdivisions – Warm Springs and Foxtail Pines. As a result, police found pot plants as well as six pounds of packaged marijuana.

The only person arrested in this drug bust was Bryan Duffy on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana. Duffy had moved to the area about a year ago and police found 176 plants growing in his house. The other homeowners had documentation under the state’s medical marijuana laws to grow pot. As a result, approximately 900 plants were left behind.

Unfortunately, the current Colorado state laws leave a lot of grey area when it comes to growing and distributing medical marijuana according to law enforcement. The law does not give a clear-cut guidance on this issue.

Latest FBI arrests in identity theft ring (0)

Posted in Misc Crime October 7th, 2009 @ 3:30 pm by Linda 

Recently, the FBI arrested 100 people in both the U.S. and Egypt in an identity theft ring that victimized thousands of people. These criminals ran a “phishing” scheme where they allegedly used computer intrusion and fraud to obtain personal information that allowed them to withdraw money from bank accounts.

This cybercrime involved Egyptian hackers using emails that directed victims to phony bank websites, where they were asked to provide account numbers. Victims lost about $2 million dollars from this phishing scam.

Phishing scams involving carding have become a multi-million dollar business for hackers and identity thieves. This is a result of shadowy online forums. Here criminals learn the tricks of the trade on how to buy, sell and trade stolen sensitive and financial data. These crime forums also help in the spread of phishing Web sites by selling pre-built kits scammers that can be used to set up bogus bank Web sites within minutes. According to a recent report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and industry consortium, more than 10,000 phishing Web sites were reported in August alone, roughly double the number found in January.

Always be careful if you receive an email requesting bank information. Banks never request this information from you via email. If you have questions, always check with your bank before entering personal information on bank websites.

A County aggressively going after child pornography perverts (0)

Posted in Sex Offenders October 6th, 2009 @ 11:09 am by Linda 

Polk County, Florida last June arrested 45 men and boys on charges of downloading child pornography. Child pornography has grown quickly on the Internet and law enforcement officials say that police agencies could easily spend every day finding and arresting offenders.

Since 2006, Polk County rounded up four child pornography rings resulting in at least 176 arrests. What makes Polk County good at busting these perverts? The sheriff’s office houses the Internet Crimes Against Children task force for central Florida. The detectives have received the specialized training needed to identify and catch people who download the illegal material from the Internet. Just two or three detectives did much of the legwork in the latest sweep, though more were required when deputies raided suspects’ homes.

The June arrest was aimed at some of the worst offenders. These low-life perverts were the ones trading images or suspected of abusing children. The 45 people arrested had amassed up to 15,000 images.

Other arrests included a 50-year-old car salesman, a 62-year old retired teacher, a 34-year-old pilot, a 43 –year –old truck drive and a 22-year old Sea World employee. Some had long criminal records and some had none. Sadly, there were high school students involved as well.

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