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Whistle-Blowers Say Failure to Collect DNA at Border has Allowed Violent Criminals to go Free for Years

Whistle-Blowers Say Failure to Collect DNA at Border has Allowed Violent Criminals to go Free for Years 1 Getty Images

Fox News has exclusively obtained a letter to President Trump from a top official inside the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) today containing incredibly concerning information. The 7 page letter was written by Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner and alerted Trump and Congress “that Customs and Border Protection (CBP), through a ‘disturbing’ pattern of misconduct, has endangered the public for nearly a decade by failing to comply with a federal law requiring that the agency collect DNA samples from detained migrants.”

The United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said CBP’s “noncompliance with the law has allowed subjects subsequently accused of violent crimes, including homicide and sexual assault, to elude detection even when detained multiple times by CBP or ICE.” The OSC is taking the “strongest possible step” to “rebuke the agency’s failure to comply with the law.”

Legally, CBP was required to “collect DNA from individuals in its custody, to be run against FBI violent-crimes databases. The procedure is separate from DNA collection designed to establish familial relationships among migrants at the border.”

A specific incident mentioned in the letter involved a 2009 homicide which took place in Denver. The suspect had “several interactions” with law enforcement, including two arrests, but was allowed to go free until investigators finally collected a DNA sample in 2017.” A 1997 incident which included “two particularly brutal’ sexual assaults…eluded detection despite being in federal custody on nine separate occasions- before finally being connected to the crime on March 2019, after a DNA sample was collected.”

Kerner wrote “it is disturbing that this would occur even once, let alone routinely, for approximately a decade…many cold cases might have been solved- and victims of violent crimes granted closure- by now if CBP had complied with its obligations under the law.” Kerner also praised the whistleblowers inside the Customs and Border Protection “who flagged the matter by filing a complaint in May 2018. The whistleblowers specifically had alleged that the DNA pilot program was put on hold during the Obama administration, and efforts to implement it under the Trump administration were derailed.”

One whistleblower, Fred Wynn said “there is no current pilot program. It’s basically dead in the water.” Another whistleblower who spoke exclusively to Fox News, Mark Jones, “suggested federal authorities were concerned about facing legal liability from ‘angel families,’ or those who have lost loved ones at the hands of illegal immigrants- and that, by admitting fault, CBP would expose the agency to lawsuits.”

The DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 states “the Attorney General may, as prescribed by the Attorney General in regulation, collect DNA samples from individuals who are arrested or detained under the authority of the United States.” CBP responded to the whistleblowers in December of 2018 with a letter to the OSC sitting there had been an internal review and found “there has been no violation of law, rule, or regulation and no substantial and specific danger to public safety.”

Of course, that was not the case, but the defenses the CBP offered up are particularly interesting. “First, in 2010, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano got a waiver for the DNA requirements from then-Attorney General Eric Holder, citing ‘severe organizational, resource and financial challenges.” CBP also claimed that other law enforcement agencies had picked up the slack and collected DNA samples. Apparently also not true. In the letter from Kerner, he wrote the “CBP’s arguments were legally and factually ‘unreasonable.”

Read Full Letter Here: Foxnews.com