Chief Charles Moose, The Hunt For The 2002 Beltway Snipers, And The Immigration Fingerprint Database
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Earlier: A Southern Maryland Reader Learns, From The DAILY MAIL, What The American MSM Never Told Him About The Washington Snipers

Chief Moose of the Montgomery County Police Department, who died in 2021, wrote a book about his attempt to catch Beltway Snipers Lee Malvo (the then teenage Jamaican illegal) and John Allan Muhammad  titled "Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper".  Moose went on a publicity tour for his book before the trial and was accused of poisoning the jury pool as a result.  I remember catching glimpses of Chief Moose doing press conferences before Muhammad and Malvo were caught.  Moose just came across as angry, very, very angry. 

He did not take criticism well from the media.  I suspect the idea of writing the book was to justify his actions as well as to gain publicity for himself.

It later came out that Muhammad was some sort of illegal alien smuggler and Malvo was an illegal alien Muhammad had smuggled in.  I always wanted to know more details on how exactly Muhammad smuggled Malvo in and what happened with any other aliens Muhammad may have smuggled. 

(Incidentally, Muhammad's ex-wife lived in the D.C. area and there was speculation that Muhammad intended to shoot her and have it look like she was a random victim of the Beltway sniper). 

This case reminded me of the "Railway Killer" Angel Maturino Resendiz. 

"In 1998, Resendiz was apprehended seven times by Border Patrol agents in Texas and New Mexico while attempting to enter the United States illegally; in each case, the agents, unaware that he was a fugitive, returned him to Mexico."

The ‘Railway Killer’ and illegal-alien crime, Washington Times, July 8, 2006.

It was quite the scandal at the Border Patrol at the time.  We had only recently gone to digital fingerprints and despite his being captured seven times in one year, he was granted a voluntary return to Mexico each time.  As a reminder to readers, a "voluntary return" is where the illegal alien agrees to be sent back to Mexico rather than face a trial and risk being formally deported.  The threat of merely having to sit in jail for a few days while awaiting trial rather than go directly back to Mexico the same day they were caught caused the vast majority of Mexicans to agree to go back to Mexico where they could try to cross again.  We would transport the Mexican illegal alien voluntary returns back to the bridge and release them in the southbound lane.  Sometimes, Mexican Customs would show up to escort them back to Mexico, but not always. 

After the Maturino-Resendiz scandal, some changes were made to the database and we started to see criminal records on our apprehensions come back.  However, initially, the FBI refused to share its entire database with us.  We had to both take a digital print of the alien's fingerprints, then do an old school ink fingerprint card of the alien and fax it over to the FBI center in West Virginia.  We were constantly getting fingerprint cards rejected by West Virginia because of the poor quality of the ink fingerprints sent back. 

This slowed down the processing of aliens and when you had a group of 10 or more aliens and were under pressure from your Supervisor and fellow Agents to get the aliens out the door so we could go home ( it seems you always catch the biggest group at the end of your shift), then fighting with the FBI over fingerprint quality was a real pain in the buttocks.

After September 11th, one of the ATF Special Agents who was married to an FBI Special Agent told a group of us how the local FBI office had a meeting in which they discussed how to look like they were cooperating more with other agencies without actually cooperating more with other agencies. 

Perhaps, Malvo and Muhammad would have been caught sooner if Malvo's fingerprints had been run through INS sooner. See The Lesson Of Lee Malvo's Fingerprint, November 26, 2002 and INS Stomping On D.C. Sniper Whistleblowers, November 13, 2002, both by Michelle Malkin .



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