“INTERPOL Washington: When Transnational Crime Comes to Our Communities”

May 13, 2013

policechiefmagazine.org released the following:

“Shawn Bray, Director, INTERPOL Washington, United States National Central Bureau

In a small town in central Missouri, newly married and recently graduated from Truman State University, I began my career in law enforcement as a police officer. There, I gained a deep appreciation for my state and local counterparts and the vital work they do—the hardships they endure and the sacrifices they make to keep us and our communities safe. This appreciation has stayed with me throughout my experience working as a special agent for the U.S. Customs Service along the Arizona-Mexico border; as Unit Chief of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Cyber Crimes Center; and, today, nearly 25 years later, as Director of INTERPOL Washington, the United States National Central Bureau (USNCB) of the International Criminal Police Organization.

As Director, I am privileged to serve as the designated U.S. representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General. I am also privileged in this role to oversee the activities of the USNCB, the official point of contact for all INTERPOL matters in the United States. Based in Lyon, France, INTERPOL’s vast communications and criminal intelligence network extends far beyond national borders and political alliances. In fact, INTERPOL facilitates police cooperation throughout 190 member countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, even in situations where diplomatic relations may not exist between particular countries.

A number of recent studies and assessments point to the globalization of crime as a growing threat to our local communities, our economic well-being, and—because of increasing evidence of ties to terrorist organizations—our national security. INTERPOL Washington offers U.S. law enforcement agencies a unique set of resources to aid in defending against these threats by providing around-the-clock access to vital international investigative resources that include I-24/7, INTERPOL’s secure, global police-to-police communication network; its broad array of investigative databases; and the INTERPOL Notice system.

INTERPOL Washington operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. A state-of-the-art command center in Washington, D.C., enables us to respond immediately to requests for law enforcement and humanitarian assistance Operational divisions provide investigative support in criminal activities with an international nexus that includes fugitives, human trafficking and smuggling, child exploitation, drugs, economic crimes, stolen works of art and cultural property, violent crimes, transnational gangs, and terrorism. Our services directly benefit more than 18,000 domestic law enforcement agencies and their counterparts in 189 other INTERPOL member countries engaged in the fight against transnational crime and terrorism.

As the U.S. National Central Bureau, INTERPOL Washington is exclusively authorized to seek the publication of INTERPOL Notices on behalf of U.S. law enforcement agencies. Color-coded according to their purposes, INTERPOL Notices serve as requests for international law enforcement assistance in such matters as locating and apprehending fugitives (red); obtaining information on the location, identity, or illegal activities of a person of interest in a criminal investigation (blue), or locating missing persons, including missing children and parental abductions (yellow). Last year alone, INTERPOL Washington initiated over 42,500 new cases and secured the publication of more than 1,800 INTERPOL Notices to National Central Bureaus world-wide and to our state and local partners here in the United States.

One of our recent high-profile cases exemplifies the importance of international police cooperation, and the value of INTERPOL’s investigative resources. The case involved the apprehension of Ulrich Engler, a fugitive wanted by German authorities for defrauding more than 1,000 investors from multiple European countries. These investors gave more than $100 million (USD) in capital to a shell company owned by the subject. In turn, Engler promised the investors that the company would return upwards of 70 percent of their initial investment annually. Instead, Engler used the investment capital to fund personal luxuries including expensive automobiles, properties, artwork, and jewelry. On March 22, 2010, Germany obtained the publication of an INTERPOL Red Notice on Engler, who for years was able to evade capture by using a myriad of aliases and physically altering his appearance. The subject was eventually arrested under an alias by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, leading investigators to discover his true identity along with the INTERPOL Red Notice and warrants for arrest. Engler was subsequently extradited to Germany to face trial. In all, over $50 million in assets were recovered.

Great case successes such as this one do not happen in isolation. Instead, they result from the cooperation of our domestic and international law enforcement partners. To that end, INTERPOL Washington is staffed by a large complement of special agents, officers, and analysts detailed from 27 partner agencies. Without the successful integration of these agencies under one roof and the ability to coordinate effectively with their international counterparts through INTERPOL channels, the identification and arrest of fugitives like Ulrich Engler would be severely hampered.

Under its Law Enforcement Information Sharing Strategy, INTERPOL Washington is continuing its efforts to share access to and boost capacity among our federal, state, local, and tribal partners. To date, we have delivered INTERPOL resources and established IT systems to support direct access to INTERPOL databases in more than 33 states free of charge. As a result, these agencies collectively run over 140,000 checks a day on INTERPOL systems. In another step forward, eight states have now federated the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) wanted query with the INTERPOL person query when they perform roadside checks on a subject. Last year, our domestic law enforcement partners conducted more than 222 million passport checks, 41 million name checks, and 2.6 million stolen motor vehicle checks across the United States. Access to INTERPOL resources continues to grow and to demonstrate its value in deterring international crimes and criminals.

In the future, we look to continue this critical mission by releasing e-learning modules on INTERPOL resources. This training will include an overview video of INTERPOL Washington and web-based training on INTERPOL, INTERPOL Washington, INTERPOL Notices, the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents program, and the International Fugitives program. These resources will equip law enforcement officers across the country with the knowledge and tools necessary to apply for and obtain INTERPOL Notices or to check INTERPOL databases. Access to INTERPOL resources and training are provided free of charge to U.S. law enforcement. We look forward to working with you to keep our communities safe.”

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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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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

————————————————————–

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 defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email: