Watchdog alerts Trump that border agency violated DNA collection letting violent criminals walk free
A top government watchdog on Wednesday alerted President 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.
In a scathing letter to Trump, exclusively obtained by Fox News, the U.S. 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 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."
The OSC told the White House that it was taking the "strongest possible step" to "rebuke the agency's failure to comply with the law," as well as its "unreasonable" attempts to defend its own conduct.
Under the law, 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.
One "troubling" case noted in the letter involved a suspect in a 2009 Denver homicide who had "several interactions" with law enforcement, including two arrests, but was allowed to go free until investigators finally collected a DNA sample in 2017.
In another instance, a suspect in "two particularly brutal" sexual assaults that occurred in 1997 eluded detection despite being in federal custody on nine separate occasions -- before finally being connected to the crime in March 2019, after a DNA sample was collected.