Nlets, INTERPOL, and U.S. DOJ’s Global: Partnerships and Technology for International Justice Information Sharing

May 22, 2012

Nlets released the following:

By: Kayelyn Means

Nlets, INTERPOL, and U.S. DOJ’s Global:
Partnerships and Technology for
International Justice Information Sharing

Prior to in-car computers, smart phones, or other hand-held technology, law enforcement officials had very limited access to comprehensive and up-to-date criminal justice information. For example, an officer would stop a violator, issue a warning or citation and then send the individual on their way, in spite of the fact international warrants or other information existed; this occurred because the information was out of the technological reach of the officer.

Supported by the efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), Nlets, The International Justice and Public Safety Network, and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) the power of technology has been combined with old-fashioned collaboration to provide the criminal justice community with real-time access to a world of never-before available information; information that can truly make the difference between life and death.

Providing the secure means to electronically exchange critical international information between the United States and INTERPOL databases gives law enforcement real-time, roadside access to international warrants, stolen vehicles, stolen passports and other travel documents from around the globe. This access immediately enhances officer safety and makes them more effective on the roadside or in an investigation.

“Through INTERPOL’s Federal membership with Nlets, INTERPOL Washington and Nlets have forged a partnership extending access to local law enforcement across America into the INTERPOL database in Lyon, France. Leveraging the extensive national presence of Nlets and extending real-time international access to more than 18,000 domestic law enforcement agencies sets the framework for delivering tools and information that enhances our national security,” states Mike Muth, INTERPOL Washington State and Local Liaison Assistant Director.

What does this Nlets/INTERPOL justice sharing capability “look like” on the street? Consider this: On April 15th, 2011, Manuel Albert Soares was pulled over in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for driving in a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lane with fewer than the required three passengers. Soares maintains dual-citizenship with Portugal and the U.S. The officer – by using Nlets and leveraging this enhanced capability– queried the driver’s license and international credentials information. What he discovered was an international warrant for Soares’s arrest, issued by Portuguese authorities in March 2009. Soares was immediately taken into custody and held until his extradition order earlier this year.

How did this Nlets/INTERPOL query work behind the scenes? When law enforcement officials in Elizabeth, New Jersey, pulled Soares over and ran his driver’s license, the query transaction – initiated from the New Jersey State Police state switch –traveled across the Nlets network, to the DOJ’s U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB). This transaction was securely transmitted to the INTERPOL Automated Search Facility database in Lyon, France; the INTERPOL database that houses data from 190 countries. This multi-layered query searched the available databases, for wanted or missing persons by name and date of birth, stolen vehicles by vehicle identification number, and lost or stolen travel documents by document control number. All findings, including the international warrant, were returned roadside to the officer in New Jersey in under 2 seconds.

The Nlets/INTERPOL query capability is available to all states; currently, 33 states have implemented the direct data exchange at this time. Additionally, four states and Washington, DC, have chosen to federate the inquiry to Nlets on all person and motor vehicle inquiries, automatically polling the INTERPOL database across the Nlets network.

• “Maryland currently uses the federated messaging model. We chose this method because it is more user-friendly and avoids a two-step process. When a wanted check is conducted in Maryland, an INTERPOL check is automatically forwarded to Nlets,” says Mike Roosa, Maryland State Police. “We do this because we border Washington, DC, which means we’re a ‘mid-point’ for everyone traveling in and out of DC in our region.”

• Detective Sgt. Eugene Aldrich, Michigan State Police, responsible for orchestrating the implementation of the messages to INTERPOL in Michigan states, “Michigan values this information sharing as important to protecting the public from threats literally around the globe, including terrorists, violent gang members and pedophiles, as well as cautioning officers of potential threats to their own safety, crimes afoot, and missing persons that would be otherwise unknown … With access to a criminal database for 190 countries; it’s another invaluable tool in an officer’s tool belt.”

• Texas is one of the most recent states to tap the INTERPOL databases via Nlets on every inquiry run in the state, implementing the capability in October 2011. “The Texas Department of Public Safety [DPS] made a decision to send inquiries to Lyon, France via INTERPOL with every stolen vehicle check containing a vehicle identification number, and for all wanted person inquiries that contain a name and date of birth. Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunication System [TLETS] supports ‘multiple purpose’ formats that trigger wanted person and stolen vehicle transactions along with other transactions. These formats were modified to also trigger the INTERPOL inquiries,” Tena Watson, Law Enforcement Support Division, TLETS, Texas DPS explains. Since implementing the automatic queries to INTERPOL, Texas has become the highest volume user of the INTERPOL data exchange message key on the Nlets network. “We send an average of 1.3 million person queries and 175,000 vehicle queries over the Nlets network each month, each with an accompanying query to the INTERPOL databases,” Watson adds. “We know that some of the people traveling through Texas are wanted internationally and will eventually come into contact with law enforcement.” She advises, “Other states may have chosen not to check INTERPOL on every roadside stop because they haven’t had enough training on its significance, but this is imperative and greatly beneficial, especially to Border States. Sending each of these messages to Lyon, France has taken the place of the previous manual inquiry method, many of which were done improperly because so many law enforcement officials didn’t have the proper tools or training.”

The advancement of technology that allowed this secure exchange through Interpol was not completed by Nlets and INTERPOL alone. In support of this effort, and a whole range of similar efforts, Global and the Global Advisory Committee (GAC) has developed national standards-based information sharing policies, practices and technology solutions for over 13 years. Nlets and INTERPOL are longstanding and valuable members of Global and the GAC, assisting in the development and implementation processes of these national standards.

“Global’s support and participation in the building of standards for information exchange has been invaluable to Nlets and the law enforcement and justice community as a whole,” says Steve Correll, Nlets Executive Director. “Nlets was the first national entity to adopt GJXDM, a precursor to NIEM, to check wanted persons, stolen vehicles, and travel documents is a perfect example of how using off the shelf protocols and agreed upon and widely adopted Global standards can save lives, protect property, and get the bad guys off the street.”

One of Global’s hallmark standards is the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), developed in response to the critical need to streamline and standardize the exchange of public safety data between, and among, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.

As the need for national information sharing has expanded to include health, immigration, and other non-traditional justice partners, DOJ, Global, and the Department Homeland Security evolved the GJXDM into the acclaimed the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).

“A project is underway at Nlets to convert all of the nearly two hundred message keys to be NIEM compliant, but GJXDM support will continue. We are working to support ‘tri-directional’ message format transformations that will allow the continued use of versions of GJXDM and NIEM available to our users. ‘Tri-directional’ transformation gives states and federal agencies the ability to send and receive messages in their respective format [text, XML, etc.], regardless of which format other states are sending and receiving,” says Kate Silhol, Nlets Senior Software Engineer. As Nlets converts all its data exchange message keys, information returned on queries is streamlined for end users; this is particularly beneficial to users sending queries to INTERPOL’s international database.

What’s ahead for the three partners, Nlets, INTERPOL and Global? The GJXDM/NIEM foundational work that paved the way for the Nlets and INTERPOL “global” information exchanges continues to broaden sharing capabilities. NIEM recently made strides toward becoming an international model with the signing of a tri-lateral information sharing Memorandum of Understanding agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which includes two pilot projects using NIEM.

And, the advancement of innovative justice and public safety information sharing capabilities is about to lead to further expansion with the inclusion of video and images, to and from INTERPOL via Nlets. This image / video capability could empower officers on the roadside to eliminate at least 90% of all ‘potential hit’ responses because a photo could be included within each record.

Nlets and INTERPOL strongly encourage states to begin federating their in-state wanted and stolen vehicle inquiries through Nlets to INTERPOL. States are encouraged to contact their industry partners about implementing the federated INTERPOL queries in conjunction with the message keys they currently support. The information returned could save lives, enhance officer safety and help apprehend high-profiles wanted throughout the world…and here at home.”

To learn more about Nlets, please visit www.nlets.org.

For more information about U.S. DOJ’s Global, please visit www.it.ojp.gov/global

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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Interpol notice tests U.S.-Venezuela relations

May 3, 2012

CNN on May 3, 2012 released the following:

“(CNN) — A former Venezuelan judge — a fugitive in his home country who was last known to be in the United States — stands to become a source of contention between the two nations.

Interpol issued a Red Notice for Eladio Aponte Aponte, Venezuelan Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said Wednesday night. The notice is an international alert that asks any country with information about his whereabouts to arrest him with a view to his extradition.

But Aponte Aponte counts on support from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, for whom he purportedly works as a source. The former Supreme Court justice fled to Costa Rica, and last month was transported from there to the United States in a DEA aircraft, officials of the Central American country said.

Venezuelan officials removed Aponte Aponte from his post in March, accusing him of providing a government credential to a man authorities allege was one of the world’s top drug lords.

Aponte Aponte, who has not confirmed or denied that accusation, left Venezuela the day he was supposed to face questioning in the Venezuelan National Assembly.

The U.S. Justice Department did not immediately comment on whether it would honor the Interpol notice.

In April, Aponte Aponte sat down for an interview with SOiTV in Miami in which he claimed he made rulings in cases based on requests from Chavez and other top officials.

“They just asked for favors that I complied with. And woe be the judge that refused to cooperate. … They were dismissed,” Aponte Aponte said.

Several of his remarks contradicted previous statements by top Venezuelan officials — including Chavez.

Asked whether there are political prisoners in Venezuela — something Chavez has previously denied — Aponte Aponte said yes.

CNN has not independently confirmed the former justice’s accusations.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro last month accused the United States of trying to destabilize his country’s government.

“It is easy to understand how a fugitive from justice processed for his connections with drug trafficking mafias and removed from his job has sold his soul to the DEA,” Maduro said. “The DEA has appeared again as a political actor in Venezuela against Venezuela.”

While the Venezuelan justice minister provided a copy of the Interpol notice on the Internet, it did not appear on Interpol’s website.

Interpol said that countries have the option of not publicizing the Red Notice on its website.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


Law officials map out strategy to catch more fugitives

January 13, 2012

Chicago Tribune on January 12, 2012 released the following:

“Federal, state, local agencies vow to work more closely together

By David Jackson and Gary Marx, Chicago Tribune reporters

At a 90-minute closed-door meeting Thursday, top federal, state and local law enforcement officials laid out plans to improve the government’s faltering efforts to apprehend violent fugitives who cross U.S. borders to evade justice in Illinois.

The officials from the Justice Department and various northern Illinois agencies pledged to more closely coordinate their international fugitive apprehension programs, better manage their mounting caseloads and train local prosecutors and police in the often-complex and lengthy extradition process.

“There’s a feeling that this is a growing problem, an expensive problem and a large challenge to our system of justice,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who convened the meeting and spoke to reporters afterward. “I think the response at the table was extremely positive at all levels.”

Attending the working session with Durbin were U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole — the No. 2 official in the Justice Department — as well as U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the Chicago heads of the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, and Timothy Williams, director of Interpol in Washington.

The local officials included Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the state’s attorneys from Cook, DuPage and Will counties, representatives from the Illinois attorney general’s office, the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police.

Durbin called together those officials in response to a recent investigative series by the Chicago Tribune that found dangerous criminals were able to cross the border and remain at large because of an astonishing lack of coordination among Justice Department officials, county prosecutors and local police; a failure by these agencies to keep track of their cases; and inexplicable, years-long delays.

After Thursday’s closed-door meeting, Durbin announced that Fitzgerald would train Illinois law enforcement agencies on the extradition system at three upcoming seminars in Chicago, Springfield and a third location outside Chicago.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow later said through a spokesman that his office would “take full advantage” of the sessions and send “multiple attorneys.”

Durbin also urged county criminal court judges to set higher bonds for violent criminals who present flight risks — a weakness pointed out in the series.

And he endorsed a bill introduced by Illinois lawmakers that will make it possible to prosecute close family members for aiding or harboring a fugitive, another loophole highlighted by one article in the series. Prosecutors said the reform would help them locate fugitives and bring them to justice.

But Durbin did express frustration with significant hurdles that remain. Local prosecutors sometimes find it prohibitively expensive to prepare and translate the extensive legal paperwork needed to request a fugitive’s arrest and extradition from a foreign government. “We’re talking about thousands of dollars,” Durbin said.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who noted that her office has faced recent budget and staff cuts, added that “the cost that really is laid on local prosecutors is enormous.”

Another issue hampering extraditions is continued lack of cooperation between the lead federal investigative agencies: The U.S. Marshals Service is the primary investigative agency and handles about 60 percent of international fugitive pursuits, but the FBI also plays a major role, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies. “It appears there is still some stovepipe culture in the federal agencies,” Durbin said.

Dart said outside the meeting that Justice Department officials need to lay out clear directives showing local officials which of the myriad federal agencies they should deal with when they have evidence that a fugitive has crossed the border.

“Everybody needs to get their act together,” Dart said. Right now, he said, the sheriffs “can go to the FBI or the U.S. marshals — but there’s no rhyme or reason.”

While the officials at Thursday’s meeting focused on international fugitive apprehension problems in northern Illinois, Durbin noted afterward that a number of federal officials have told him there was a higher level of cooperation and effectiveness here than in many other parts of the country.

“Illinois is not the worst situation in the country,” Durbin said. “This is a challenge across the nation.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Interpol lists Griffiths, asks police to prepare extradition

October 21, 2011

Cebu Daily News on October 20, 2011 released the following:

“By Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News

Ian Charles Griffiths, the British national who is one of two suspects in the kidnap-murder of 6-year-old Ellah Joy Pique, is now in the Interpol Red Notice list.

The Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) directed the Cebu Provincial Police Office director to process the papers for Griffiths’ extradition to the Philippines.

“Prepare his extradition papers and request for provisional arrest to be sent to United Kingdom through the Department of Justice (DOJ),” said Director Felizardo Serapio, executive director of PCTC.

Griffiths and his Cebuana partner Bella Ruby Santos are facing kidnapping with homicide charges in relation to Ellah Joy’s death.

However, Cebu Provincial Prosecutor Pepita Jane Petralba, said the DOJ has yet to finish processing the government-to-government request to send Griffiths to Cebu.

Petralba along with lawyers of the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7, and public prosecutors convened to discuss the case.

Santos, who was arrested in Manila on Oct. 7, is now detained at the Naga City police detention cell.

Ellah Joy’s counsel, however, suffered a setback after Naga City Prosecutor Napoleon Alburo dismissed the complaint for child pornography against Santos.

In dismissing the complaint, Alburo said the pornographic items were not included in the items mentioned in the search warrant of the police.

Alburo said there are no allegations or evidences presented to prove that Santos distributed such pornographic materials.

Defense lawyer Rameses Villagonzalo said the recent ruling “is just the start of a series of victories that we are aiming for.”

Santos’ lawyers intend to file a petition for bail on Monday. /With Correspondent PATRICIA ANDREA PATEÑA”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.