Military law enforcement inconsistent in reporting crime data

By James LaPorta  |  Updated Dec. 5, 2017 at 5:06 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The Pentagon's Inspector General said in a new report that law enforcement organizations within the Armed Forces "did not consistently" submit fingerprint and final disposition reports to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. Air Force and Secretary of Defense James Mattis launched reviews last month of how the military reports criminal records after former Airman David P. Kelley killed 26 people at a church in Texas.

Kelley had been convicted of domestic violence and served one year in military prison, however that information had not been entered into the FBI database -- which would have disqualified him from owning a firearm.

The report released Tuesday by the Department of Defense, which was already been in progress at the time of the shooting in Texas, found that of the 2,502 fingerprint cards required to be reported to the FBI between January 2015 and December 2016, 601, or 24 percent, were not submitted to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services database.

Additionally, between the same time period and sample size, 780, or 31 percent, of final disposition reports for convicted offenders were not submitted to the FBI.

The IG says that failure to include pertinent criminal history in the NGI database can "allow someone to purchase a weapon who should not, hinder criminal investigations, and potentially impact law enforcement and national security interests."

The FBI has been moving the criminal data into the Bureau's Next Generation Identification database, a national computerized system that contains the criminal histories of individuals for law enforcement purposes, according to the IG report.

Last month, the U.S. Air Force acknowledged that it failed to follow fingerprint card and final disposition policies that would have alerted law enforcement agencies to Devin P. Kelley's violent history.

Kelley, a former U.S. Air Force service member stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, was sentenced to a year in prison and drummed out of the military with a bad conduct discharge following two counts of domestic abuse against his wife and a child, according to U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who are relatives of a family of eight that was killed during the November shooting, have filed a wrongful death claim against the Air Force for failing to report Kelly's domestic violence conviction to the FBI.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: James Mattis
Trending Stories