Facial recognition software leads to Cedar City man’s arrest

Composite image, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — A Cedar City man whose crimes police say span from coast to coast was arrested Thursday after facial recognition software alerted special agents with the Utah Driver License Division to the defendant’s alleged illegal activities.

Dustin Robert Bandringa was arrested Thursday on a warrant after being charged with one third-degree felony count of identity fraud and once count of unlawful possession of another’s identification documents, a class A misdemeanor.

The arrest stems from an incident that began on or about Aug. 24, 2017, when the defendant entered the Driver License Division office in Cedar City to obtain a Utah identification card. After presenting the required identifying documents, he was issued a state ID card in his name.

Three months later, Bandringa again went to the Cedar City Driver License Division office to obtain a state-issued identification card under a different name, according to the probable cause statement written in support of his arrest.

This time, the defendant allegedly requested the card using the name Douglas James Bandringa, and after presenting the required documentation, he was issued a state ID card under that name. 

Dustin Robert Bandringa, 36, of Cedar City, booking photo posted Nov. 1, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The defendant also listed a physical address in Cedar City for both cards, which investigators later discovered was actually the address for the Iron County Care and Share, according to court records. 

Using facial recognition software, the Driver License Division’s criminal information specialists later determined that both ID cards were issued to the same individual. 

The case was then turned over to the Utah Department of Public Safety’s major crimes team, which found after further investigation that the name Douglas James Bandringa is the defendant’s brother. 

Investigators located driver’s license information out of California for both the defendant and his brother, and after viewing the photo IDs, they were able to accurately identify the defendant as the one who entered the Driver License Division and obtained ID cards in both names.

Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser told Cedar City News that when Driver License Division agents find potential illegal activity, they contact law enforcement — in this case the Department of Public Safety — to continue the investigation and followup with charges and arrest, if appropriate.

After speaking with the defendant’s family, agents learned that he did not have permission to use anyone else’s ID or personal information.

The case was turned over to the Iron County Attorney’s Office in September, and charges were filed shortly thereafter. Days later, a warrant was issued by the 5th District Court in Iron County for Bandringa’s arrest.

A stipulation filed with the court indicated that the charges required a higher bail amount based on Bandringa’s extensive criminal history that court records say “ranged from California to New York.” Records show the defendant has been arrested in Arizona, California, Kansas, New York, Oregon and Utah.

At the time of this report, Bandringa remains in custody at the Iron County Jail on $15,000 bail. His next court appearance is Nov. 21 for a preliminary hearing.

Facial recognition technology

Facial recognition software like that employed by Driver License Division investigators uses biometrics to map facial features from a photo or video and compares that information with a database of known faces to find a match, according to Norton Security

The software identifies as many as 68 facial landmarks that are put in an algorithm to produce a facial signature.

Ed. note: On first publish, this report erroneously referred to the Utah Driver License Division as the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. Report is revised accordingly.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Carpe Diem November 4, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Scooby Doo, where are yoo? I’d say the long arm of the law nipped this bubba in the bud. (no pun intended)

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