Criminal Justice

Fugitive bail jumper captured in Nepal through facial-recognition technology after 14 years

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A New Mexico man who skipped bail 14 years ago has been caught with the help of facial-recognition technology.

Neil Stammer, who is wanted in New Mexico on child-sex-abuse charges, was arrested recently in Nepal, the FBI and the BBC report.

He was captured using new facial-recognition software that matched his passport photo with a wanted poster put out by the FBI last February.

Stammer, who once owned a magic shop in New Mexico, was arrested in 1999 on multiple state charges, including child sex abuse and kidnapping. He was released on bond but never showed up for his arraignment.

The FBI said that Stammer, who had once been a street-performing juggler in Europe and who speaks a dozen languages, had been living in Nepal under a fake passport for eight years.

He was caught when a special agent with the Diplomatic Security Service, using FBI wanted posters to test new facial-recognition software designed to uncover passport fraud, matched the face on his poster to the passport of a man living in Nepal under the name Kevin Hodges. “Hodges” regularly visited the U.S. Embassy there to renew his tourist visa.

Stammer has now been returned to the U.S. for trial.

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