U.S. Passport Returned to Proper Owner with Help of N-DEx

March 14, 2017

A citizen presented an unclaimed United States passport to a King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputy in June 2015. Considering the possibility of a stolen passport, the deputy queried a local Washington state system but found no results. With little to go on because the passport had no address, the deputy searched Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These searches produced too many possible matches, so the deputy searched the name on the passport in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is administered by the Northwest Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX). Because the LInX System is affiliated with the FBI’s National Data Exchange (N-DEx) System, the deputy’s search also triggered an automatic search of the N‑DEx System. The N-DEx System search produced a record (not necessarily criminal in nature) from Travis County, Texas. Although the N-DEx System record contained little information to go on, it did provide a general geographic region to conduct further searches.

Armed with this new information, the deputy once again performed Internet searches, this time narrowing the results down to the Travis County, Texas, area. The deputy located an individual with the same name who was the founder of a company in the area of interest. The deputy visited the company’s Facebook page and learned that the individual was no longer with the company. The deputy then discovered a personal Facebook page for the individual and left a message there for the individual to contact him. Within an hour, the grateful individual contacted the deputy and explained that he was on tour with his band and had just recently been in the Seattle, Washington, area. He went on to explain that he needed his passport to continue touring. The deputy dropped the lost passport in the mail and returned it to its rightful owner. The deputy used the N-DEx System to go above and beyond to reunite the individual with his missing passport.

For more information about how N-DEx can help your law enforcement agency, please contact the program office at ndex@leo.gov or call (304) 625-0555.