This paper reports on six case studies from Stockton, CA, that show how interagency cooperation and innovative technology solved firearms-related crimes committed by Cambodian street gangs.
The six case studies occurred December 1999 through November 2003. During this period, a partnership existed among the Stockton Police NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistics Information Network) Lab, various investigative units within the Stockton Police Department, and a California Department of Justice forensic laboratory. The NIBIN connects over 225 labs across the country with automated ballistics analysis technology. The technology that NIBIN depends on is the Integrated Ballistics identification System (IBIS), which rapidly shows possible matches between pairs of bullets and cartridge cases. During the 2-year period in which the six case studies occurred, IBIS specialists at the Stockton Police NIBIN Lab worked in partnership with Stockton investigators and forensic experts at the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services. Their efforts involved using IBIS and the NIBIN database to develop intelligence from test fires of recovered firearms and a collection of various items of ballistic evidence. The work focused on ballistic evidence from a series of violent crimes committed by Cambodian street gangs. One gun, called the "Bottle Cap Gun," was featured in many of the crimes before it was taken off the street through the program of collaborative action. The six case studies show how the collaborative procedures and the technology used solved six murders, three attempted murders, and a shooting into an occupied home.
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