SAN DIEGO — Federal agents and local police used license plate readers to identify and track visitors to gun shows, according to a new report.
Police set up a reader that recorded the license plate numbers of thousands of visitors to a gun show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near San Diego in 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported. The license plate numbers were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who used the information to try and find gun smugglers crossing the US-Mexico border, emails obtained by the Journal indicate.
The plate on every vehicle that entered the fairgrounds for the Crossroads of the West gun show was recorded. Readers also were set up at gun shows in Ontario, California, and Cost Mesa, California.
Every License Plate Recorded
“We would like to see if you can support an outbound guns/ammo operation … at the Crossroads (Del Mar) Gun Show,” an email from ICE to unidentified law enforcement agencies states. “We would like to deploy license plate readers.”
A license plate reader or scanner is a high-tech camera that automatically records an image of every plate it spots.