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Published On: Thu, Aug 14th, 2014

FBI credit facial recognition for arrest of fugitive Neil Stammer in Nepal

A pedophile on the run for fourteen years was arrested in Nepal by the FBI and the credited the State Department’s new facial recognition technology in a statement on Tuesday.

Neil StammerThe FBI reported Tuesday that Neil Stammer was arrested in Nepal, ending a chase which began in 1999. Stammer owned a New Mexico magic shop and was arrested on multiple charges, including child sex abuse and kidnapping. After posting bail, Stammer fled the United States and never appeared for this arraignment. When federal fugitive charges were filed a month afterwards, the FBI became involved.

Stammer, 47, speaks about a dozen languages and could have potentially been anywhere in the world. In January 2014, the FBI’s fugitive coordinator Russ Wilson created a new “wanted” poster for the fugitive. The newly designed facial recognition software, which was intended to catch passport fraud, was used by a security service agent within the State Department to test the software out on the Bureau’s wanted posters.

“In addition to the current fugitives, I had a stack of old cases,” Wilson said, “and Stammer’s stood out.”

 The action ultimately matched Stammer’s face with someone named Kevin Hodges.

When he came upon Stammer’s poster online, a curious thing happened. Stammer’s face matched a person whose passport photo carried a different name,” the FBI said in its statement.

The tip soon led Wilson to Nepal, where Stammer was living under the name Kevin Hodges and regularly visiting the U.S. Embassy there to renew his tourist visa.

“He was very comfortable in Nepal,” Wilson said. “My impression was that he never thought he would be discovered.” Stammer had been living in Nepal for years, teaching English and other languages to students hoping to gain entrance into U.S. universities.

Although Nepal and the U.S. have no formal extradition agreement, the Nepalese government cooperated with our efforts to bring Stammer to justice. “We had tremendous assistance from DSS, the State Department, and the government of Nepal,” Wilson said. “It was a huge team effort with a great outcome.”

Check out the full press release from the FBI HERE

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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