U.S. Attorney Thompson Joins ATF, AHIDTA, Law Enforcement at Gun Crime Mobile Unit Deployments in Raleigh and Kanawha Counties
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Will Thompson joined officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) today to assist law enforcement throughout the Southern District of West Virginia with cutting-edge investigative technology targeting gun violence.
An ATF National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) mobile unit, operated in partnership with HIDTA, deployed to the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office in Beckley and the West Virginia State Police Academy in Dunbar to conduct training for local law enforcement and provide investigative support by analyzing ballistic evidence from gun crimes. The training will aid the ongoing support that NIBIN will provide law enforcement throughout the district.
“With this mobile unit, we can take this valuable technology to our law enforcement partners throughout the Southern District of West Virginia,” Thompson said. “One of the most pressing problems we face not only in this district and this state but in this country is violent crime. The NIBIN mobile unit will help solve and prevent violent crimes.”
NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. ATF maintains and operates NIBIN’s infrastructure at no charge to law enforcement partners.
“Our mission is to protect the public from violent crime,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Division, which includes West Virginia. “ATF and Appalachia HIDTA are committed to bringing necessary federal resources to West Virginia law enforcement to help keep our communities safe.”
The Appalachia HIDTA mission is to enhance and coordinate drug enforcement efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies within areas designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas by pursuing the disruption/dismantlement of Drug Trafficking Organizations, particularly as it relates to the specific drug threat of the Appalachian region.
NIBIN technology compares images of submitted ballistic evidence from shooting scenes and recovered firearms and produces a list of possible similar results. Trained NIBIN technicians then conduct a correlation review of these results, identifying NIBIN leads or potential links or associations from the same firearm. A NIBIN lead is an unconfirmed, potential association between two or more pieces of firearm ballistic evidence and is based on a correlation review of the digital images in the NIBIN database.
More than 104,200 investigative leads were generated by 278 NIBIN locations in fiscal year 2022. NIBIN helped investigators connect firearms recovered at crime scenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to gun traffickers who orchestrated the straw purchase of over 140 firearms in the Beckley area. A federal jury convicted conspiracy ringleader Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh,” 37, of Philadelphia, and 18 co-defendants pleaded guilty to roles in the firearms trafficking conspiracy.
“If there is anything that law enforcement has learned over the past several decades, it is that criminals don’t necessarily operate within a certain area. We need to be able to communicate and collaborate with each other and pool our resources,” said Raleigh County Sheriff J.C. Canaday. “Through these partnerships that we’ve established, like with HIDTA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the ATF, we’re able to more readily track and prosecute more aggressively the criminals involved in both drug and gun crimes.”
NIBIN also matched shell casings recovered from a shooting at a Huntington bar during a 2019 New Year’s Eve party to a firearm seized by Charleston Police officers. The investigation resulted in the conviction of Kymoni Davis for being a felon in possession of a firearm as the admitted shooter. Davis, also known as “Money,” 33, of Redford, Michigan, was sentenced to eight years in prison on December 19, 2022.
Since its launch, the technology behind NIBIN has provided participating law enforcement agencies with an automated method to share, research, identify and cross-reference firearms ballistic data across a nationwide network. NIBIN is only used for criminal investigations and does not capture or store ballistic information acquired at the point of manufacture, importation, or sale.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.