High-tech iris scan machines help catch crooks

High-tech iris scan machines help catch crooks

BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It may sound like something straight out of CSI but it's actually being used by law enforcement offices across the Heartland.

Recently an iris scan device helped deputies in Butler County put a repeat offender behind bars.

For Marcus Benford lying about his identity was no match for the high-tech iris scan machine. Benford has dozens of offenses and warrants in two states including felonies. He's now behind bars.

To avoid capture deputies say he tried to use one of his old tricks: using the name, Steven Rodgers.

"It's actually quite a frequent thing, you'd be surprised how many people come to jail that are people that won't actually tell you who they are," said Sheriff Mark Dobbs.

That's why Butler County invested in a high tech iris scan device that turned the tables on Benford's tactics. A scan showed he was trying to skirt authorities.

Deputies explain your eyes are like a fingerprint, every person's is unique. According to jail administrator David Light, Benford came in after his arrest and signed off on paperwork as Rogers. Then they followed standard procedure and brought him to the jail to be scanned. According to records, deputies say Benford started getting nervous, and even blinked during the test. Quickly the machine pulled up the face of Benford, not Rogers. Once they put the information into the tracking system, it showed the two were clearly not the same person.

"My officer actually turned it around and said, 'Look Steven Rogers is obviously not you, and it is time to start being honest and that's when Benford said 'Look I've gotten away with this a few times and I'm obviously not getting away with it now,'"said Light.

While Benford is in on charges for bad checks in seven locations including multiple southeast Missouri counties and one county in Mississippi, Sheriff Dobbs says it helps catch much more dangerous suspects.

"You hate the thought you released some violent criminal just because he gave you bad information and you relied on it. It's a scary thought and something we don't want to see happen," said Sheriff Dobbs.

Your eye is like a fingerprint. Everyone's is unique.

Benford is behind bars and charged with resisting arrests since he was caught in a lie along with the felony charges and bad checks.

Stoddard, Perry, and Cape Girardeau counties and several others also now have the iris scan machines.

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