Friday, November 21, 2008

Rapid ID Leads Deputies To Wanted Felon

An electronic fingerprint tool helped lead deputies to a convicted felon wanted on multiple warrants out of Miami-Dade County during a traffic stop in Immokalee on Thursday, sheriff’s reports said.

Sheriff’s reports gave this account:

Deputies were investigating a report of diesel fuel theft from Ranch One Farms, 3595 Ranch One Road, Immokalee, when they spotted a white van matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle traveling east on Interstate 75 near the 63 mile marker around 4:15 a.m.

Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the van. The driver gave deputies a name and date of birth, but said he did not have a driver’s license or registration. A check of the state Department of Motor Vehicles computer database showed the man deputies were speaking with did not match the driver’s license photo for the man whose name he gave them.

Deputies then used their Rapid ID portable fingerprint device, which positively identified the driver as 46-year-old Juan De Dios Llerena of Miami. Within minutes Llerena’s criminal history was also on display on the screen of the deputies’ in-car computer.

It showed Llerena had several active felony warrants out of Miami-Dade County, including for violation of state probation. Deputies arrested him on the warrants.

Llerena also is listed as a “violent felony offender with special concern” on the state Department of Corrections Web site, according to sheriff’s reports.

Further investigation by deputies revealed two large containers containing 300 gallons of diesel fuel in the back of the van. Their investigation found Llerena stole the fuel from Ranch One Farms, reports said.

Llerena was also charged with grand theft, unlawful conveyance of fuel, giving false information to a law enforcement officer, and driving on a suspended license.

CCSO deputies have been using Rapid ID since August as part of a pilot program through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The device electronically scans two fingerprint images which are then sent to FDLE and entered into a statewide fingerprint database. If there’s a match, that person’s criminal history and any warrants he or she may have will be delivered electronically within 45 seconds to a minute. The statewide database covers anybody who has been arrested and fingerprinted in Florida.

FDLE is supplying the devices at no cost to CCSO through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.