Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019
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The FBI plans a "Rapid DNA" network for quick checks on people arrested

An operator is preparing to introduce DNA samples into a fast DNA machine, the ANDE 6C, in November, to try to identify the remains of victims of the California fire camp. (David N. Stiles / David N. Stiles) Tom Jackman Journalist covering criminal justice at the local and national levels December 13 at 6:00 AM While DNA has revolutionized the fight against modern crime, the clues it might contain are not revealed quickly. Samples of saliva, skin or sperm are sent by car (or mail) to a crime laboratory, then the chemists go to work. Detectives are used to waiting days or weeks, or even longer, to get the results. Some laboratories are so backed up that they only handle the most serious crimes. Some samples are never tested. But a laptop the size of a big office printer is changing that. A "Rapid DNA" machine can analyze the DNA of a swab and produce a profile of 20 specific loci on the DNA strand in less than two hours. Some local police and prosecutors have been using Rapid DNA machines for about five years to solve crimes. In Orange County, California, police charged with investigating a stabbing assault discovered a trail of blood allegedly left behind by the assailant. The Rapid DNA machine was able to produce a profile corresponding to a person already listed in the Orange County database, but who was "not on the radar" of the investigators, said the Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Contini. He was stopped. "The speed with which you can give these clues to the police is crucial," said Contini. "When you are on these suspects quickly, they confess. We had a lot of success. Last month, one of two Rapid DNA machine manufacturers, ANDE, of Waltham, Mass., Shipped six of these machines to California to try to identify the victims of the huge fires, using DNA from family members to create a temporary searchable database.
The DNA samples are placed in a fast DNA machine, ANDE 6C. The machines can produce DNA profiles in less than two hours and the FBI wants to link them to the national DNA database called CODIS. (David Parnes / David Parnes) However, the machines are not connected to CODIS, the FBI's combined national DNA database. The FBI is therefore launching a Rapid DNA initiative to place machines in police and sheriffs reservation stations across the country, in order to allow law enforcement officials to check whether arrested persons are being compared to the CODIS database. the release of the suspects. In his testimony to the 2015 Rapid DNA Congress, James B. Comey, then director of the FBI, said the technology "would help us change the world in a very, very exciting way." Comey said that she would authorize "the reservation of resorts throughout the country. , if a person is arrested, to know instantly – or almost instantly – whether that person is the fugitive raptor in a given community before being released on bail and to escape or release someone else. one, to show that he does not do it the person. Thirty states and the federal government allow DNA sampling at the time of arrest. Sixteen States allow immediate analysis, and in the remaining 14 states, DNA can be taken at arrest, but can only be analyzed after the indictment. The FBI expects that a fast DNA network will not only help identify more suspects, but also significantly reduce the time waiting for investigators to obtain the results of the investigation. 39; DNA and ease the burden of criminal laboratories. Congress last year approved a law authorizing the Rapid DNA Network, and the FBI plans to roll it out slowly from next year. "Our goal in 2019," said Thomas Callaghan, head of biometric research at the FBI laboratory, "is to be able to carry out a pilot project in which we develop a DNA profile in a reservation station, without human analysis, and we make it electronically registered and searched in the national database.We must ensure that the quality of a laboratory can be achieved in a reservation center, "which are often prisons where fingerprints and photos are usually The FBI program will not allow the DNA submission of the unknown crime scene from Rapid DNA machines to the CODIS database. "Callaghan explained," The machines were originally developed for large amounts of DNA from a single person, shortly after their collection. "The DNA of a crime scene may contain a mixture of A & E DN from different sources or be contaminated by its environment. The machines did not prove to be "robust enough to handle crime scene samples," Callaghan said. Therefore, Rapid DNA submissions to CODIS can only come from known people.

A crime scene investigator from the Prince George County Police Department, Maryland, is preparing to search DNA evidence at the scene of a triple homicide in 2015. The New DNA Machines Rapid can produce DNA profiles from such samples in less than two hours. (Evelyn Hockstein for the Washington Post) In addition, to facilitate quick responses, initial submissions of Rapid DNA machines will only be verified against a "DNA Index of Concern," which includes unknown profiles from non-homicide. resolved, sexual assault, kidnapping and terrorism. said the FBI. The prompt submission of DNA will be checked against the entire CODIS database during an upcoming round of DNA submissions from all over the country, once a day. Advocates of privacy and technology do not know where Rapid DNA could lead, especially because, as observed by Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "no body controls the deployment of this technology. The FBI has acknowledged that anyone can buy a Rapid DNA machine and police departments and prosecutors from Palm Bay, Florida, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in Richland County, South Carolina, in the United States. Tucson County, Orange County, California, and the Attorney General's Office in Utah use them, primarily to compare samples of crime scenes with known suspects, or simply to speed up the processing of the crime. 39; DNA. Orange County has its own database of 180,000 arrested people with whom it can compare unknown samples. The New York City Medical Examiner's Office recently purchased one of the machines to try to identify the bodies that were brought to the morgue without a piece of identification. Lynch noted that people who are not trained in collecting evidence at the crime scene could submit contaminated samples and that it has been shown that DNA transfers innocent people to the scene of the crime . In 2013, a San Jose man was charged with murder and then exonerated from murder, when it was discovered that paramedics who had taken him to the hospital had carried his DNA without it. know about his next visit to the scene of the homicide. But the courts have approved the taking of DNA from arrested people and its analysis. The United States Supreme Court stated in 2013 that Maryland's DNA practice was "similar to a fingerprint and photograph, a legitimate and reasonable police booking procedure under the Fourth Amendment". "We are learning more about DNA every day and what can be determined from a DNA profile. … I wonder if the Supreme Court would consider this differently, now that we know how much information the DNA can provide us. The Rapid DNA machines are manufactured by ANDE, which produces the ANDE 6C model, and IntegenX by Pleasanton. , California, which developed the RapidHIT system. Until now, only ANDE 6C has been approved for the FBI Rapid DNA program. ANDE is not yet selling the machines to law enforcement, but only disposable chips that facilitate each test, said Annette Mattern, communications officer for ANDE. The company wants the price of the DNA test to be less than $ 200, which, according to law enforcement officials, is much cheaper than the current cost of complete laboratory testing. "People concerned about privacy worry about genetic profiles. That's not what we do, "said Mattern. "When you look at the profile, it does not tell us what you look like, nor who your grandmother is. You can not say anything except that it corresponds to another. We think this is as invasive as taking fingerprints. "Mattern also said the opportunity for a sample to be contaminated was less great with a fast DNA machine because it involved far fewer steps and fewer people. The sample does not need to be transported to a laboratory and to be handled by different people. The handling process is complete once a vial has been placed in a Rapid DNA machine. The Attorney General's office in Utah has two ANDE 6C machines and "we are extremely excited about the results we have achieved," said Nate Mutter, the bureau's chief investigator. He said that many of the cases brought to his attention by the state counties were cases of firearms in which investigators were trying to match the DNA of a gun to fire discarded to a known suspect. A burglar from Cache County, Utah, who had left his DNA on a can of soda on September 19, was identified, arrested and sentenced on October 17 – about as much time as one. conventional DNA test. "We are not looking for a stranger here," said Mutter. "This is an investigative tool to link suspects and evidence. The fact that we can not load information into CODIS does not mean that technology can not help us. He added that the portability of the machines was a bonus. "You can take it anywhere, and you always get lab-quality results," Mutter said. Lynch said that if Rapid DNA machines "are not validated for DNA blends, they certainly should not be used for this purpose," and that things like guns and knives are good candidates to have the DNA of more than one person. Contini, the Orange County attorney, said that Rapid DNA could have long-term effects on crimes such as burglary and theft, in which serial offenders tend to be involved. "You're getting out of the street early," she said. "You do not just solve the crime, you prevent the crime. And you enjoy a lot of public safety. "

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