Flagler County deputies using tech to ID criminals in field

Rapid ID tech helps make 2 arrests on 1st day in use, Sheriff's Office says

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – You know those devices you've seen on TV shows that scan a person's fingerprint and immediately tell cops their identity and criminal history?

Well, they really exist -- and Flagler County investigators now have them.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office has equipped all of its patrol and fugitive unit personnel with the Rapid ID technology.

The mobile devices scan a person's fingerprint and transmit it straight to the state's  Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). The person's identity and any criminal history then displays on the device in the field.

Sheriff Rick Staly said the devices were purchased with money seized in drug busts.

The devices were first deployed in Flagler County on Tuesday and immediately resulted in a pair of arrests, the Sheriff's Office said.

A private repossession agent said he saw a man and woman run out of a Home Depot with a drill set and called police. Two deputies pulled the couple over based on the descriptions. 

The woman, who was driving, had no ID on her and gave deputies what turned out to be a false name, the Sheriff's Office said.

But the deputies used the Rapid ID device to learn her real identity. They said her name is Amanda Butler and that she does not have a valid driver's license. The man was identified as John Butler, who was on probation and was supposed to be on house arrest, deputies said.

Butler's probation stemmed from Daytona Beach charges of arson and willful damage to a structure.

“People give false names to our deputies often trying to avoid arrest for a crime or an active warrant,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We now have one more tool to help us get criminals quickly off the street and into the Green Roof Inn (Flagler County Jail). And, the best part of this is poison peddlers paid for this from the profits of their criminal activity and the taxpayers did not pay a dime for this technology.”

The stolen drill set was recovered, and another empty box of a drill set from the Daytona Home Depot was discovered during an inventory search of their car, deputies said. 

Amanda Butler was charged with grand theft, providing a false name while detained and driving while license suspended (DWLS) with knowledge. She was booked on $6,500 bond. John Butler was charged with grand theft and felony violation of probation (VOP) and was booked into the jail with no bond.