U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $700,000)

Puerto Rico is one of the homicide capitals of the United States, suffering the consequences of a flood of illegal firearms imported from the continental United States via the mail and then modified on the island into machineguns.  Murder scenes can have hundreds of shell casings.  The tracing of illegal guns both (1) between crime scenes, and (2) from illegal gun traffickers is critical to reducing Puerto Rico’s surge in violent crime.   

NIBIN and eTrace should be a cornerstone of that system, but the timeframe between evidence submission and NIBIN lead generation is currently measured in months, not days.  A primary goal of this proposal by Puerto Rico’s Institute of Forensic Sciences is to reduce the turn-around time from evidence submission to NIBIN lead notifications from 62 days to 24-48 hours.  Specifically, the funding would be used for the following: (1) to pay for the hiring and training of technicians at the Puerto Rico Institute of Forensic Sciences to enter shell casings into NIBIN and to perform test fires, (2) to fund a special local prosecutor in one of the most violent municipalities who would focus on prosecuting firearm cases and tracking NIBIN-generated prosecutions, (3) to fund equipment, such as an automated imaging triage device that would allow immediate scanning of ballistics evidence in order to: (a) compare cartridge cases, (b) calculate the minimum number of firearms involved, and (c) identify the best cartridge cases to submit to NIBIN.

Date Created: September 8, 2023