From the Los Angeles Field Division
NIBIN Aids in Nabbing Murdering Drug Dealer
In 2001, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Santa Ana, California, Police Department (SAPD) partnered together to further the mission of ATF's National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Program to reduce firearms violence through the aggressive targeting, investigation, and prosecution of shooters and their sources of crime guns. It focuses the capabilities of the law enforcement community (first responders, evidence collection teams, laboratory personnel) to develop intelligence to close cases.
The NIBIN Network embodies teamwork by letting contributing agencies help each other identify shooters. Each firearm leaves unique markings similar to fingerprints on expelled cartridge casings and ATF and our partners work to get all recovered gun evidence into NIBIN as quickly as possible. Using this information, NIBIN often links seemingly unrelated cases through ballistics evidence from multiple jurisdictions, strengthening the ties within the law enforcement community and helping identify and incarcerate violent offenders.
This is One of our Stories:
On January 20, 2005, a recently released convict attempted to steal cocaine from a drug dealer in Santa Ana and escape in a taxi. The drug dealer, Guadalupe Serna, fired several shots at the taxi, fatally wounding the robber, who was the father of a 3-wee-old baby. At the scene, SAPD investigators found cartridge cases, which they entered into NIBIN.
Two months later, SAPD arrested Serna on a drug-related charge. Through NIBIN, they determined that his firearm had shot and killed the victim of the January 2005 shooting. In March 2010, the courts sentenced Serna to 50 years to life in State prison.
How Does NIBIN Make Law Enforcement More Effective?
NIBIN embodies the collaboration of law enforcement for the sole purpose of identifying and prosecuting shooters that prey upon our communities. Its effectiveness hinges upon the timely entry of ballistic evidence, intelligence referrals, and immediate investigative follow up. This program embodies teamwork, collaboration, and transparency.