Gun Digest

Jury Cites Thermal Imaging in Gun Conviction

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“When it comes to making our streets safer, we’re going to use every single tool at our disposal,’’ Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. “Science and technology are advancing every day. Bringing those advances into the courtroom is part of our mission and our responsibility.’’

The defendant, Jose R. Rodriguez, 25, was convicted of illegal possession of a loaded gun and unlawful possession of ammunition. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail. His lawyer declined to comment.

The case involved a Bullard T1 Commander, a thermal imaging camera that records heat output the way a conventional camera records light. The technology was designed for the military and has become commonly used in firefighting.

In this case, it was used by officers who chased Rodriguez in January, after he allegedly fled when officers tried to question him. According to police, officers saw him walking down Whittemore Street clutching his waistband, and they grew suspicious.

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At one point, the officers saw Rodriguez stretch out his arm as if he had thrown something. He was taken into custody.

While retracing his path, police recovered a 9mm semiautomatic Smith & Wesson handgun from the snow.

That is when officers used the Bullard camera, allowing them to determine that the firearm had just been discarded; the gun had retained the heat of the person carrying it, making it appear lighter than its surroundings. Read more


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