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The power of NIBIN: A case study

On Jan. 1, 2021, Cleveland police were called to a shooting scene where an assailant had fired multiple rounds into a car, killing the driver. Officers found dozens of cartridge cases but no weapon. From tips they received, police identified a potential suspect, 25-year-old Albert Toro. They couldn’t connect him to the scene, however, because the cartridge cases they entered into NIBIN provided no leads.

Five months later, police in suburban Westlake responded to a call at a local hotel about a woman who turned out to be overdosing.

n officer noticed that a backpack owned by the woman’s boyfriend contained a bottle of CLP gun-cleaning solution in an outside mesh pocket. The man was Toro, but Westlake police had no idea that he was a potential suspect in the Cleveland homicide.

When asked where the gun was, Toro admitted it was in the backpack — a Glock 17, owned by his girlfriend, Tera Radesic, 23.

Soon after, Westlake police test-fired the weapon and entered the cartridge cases into NIBIN. A few days later, Cleveland police had the break they needed: The tool marks on the cartridge cases from the test-fire matched the marks on the cartridge cases found at the Cleveland homicide scene.

Toro pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter with gun specifications and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Radesic also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison.