The Washington Post

Fairfax rape case leads to national database upgrade

The actions of convicted rapist, gang member and illegal immigrant Salvador Portillo-Saravia of Sterling led to an upgrade of the national fingerprint database. (Courtesy of Fairfax County Police)

More digging revealed that untold thousands of fingerprints from deportees prior to 2005 had never been digitized, and were sitting on cards in file cabinets. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) took up the cause, and on Tuesday he announced that $5 million in funding to digitize the fingerprints of all criminal illegal aliens was included in the upcoming budget for the Department of Homeland Security.

“This tragic incident identified a critical shortcoming in the Secure Communities program,” Wolf said in a press release, referring to the federal IDENT database that all jails in Virginia, and most nationwide, check to see if new inmates have immigration violations. “Unfortunately, many local law enforcement agencies were unaware of this gap in the system and that manual searches were still necessary.”

The rapist, Salvador Portillo-Saravia, 30, an MS-13 gang member from Sterling, pleaded guilty in October to rape and sodomy of a victim under the age of 13. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month. He had visited a woman on the day after Christmas 2010 in Centreville, and then assaulted the girl in her own home, Fairfax police said. He was later captured in Houston.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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