One of the important cues in solving crimes and apprehending criminals is matching sketches with digital face images. This paper presents an automated algorithm to extract discriminating information from local regions of both sketches and digital face images. Structural information along with minute details present in local facial regions are encoded using multiscale circular Weber's local descriptor. Further, an evolutionary memetic optimization algorithm is proposed to assign optimal weight to every local facial region to boost the identification performance. Since forensic sketches or digital face images can be of poor quality, a preprocessing technique is used to enhance the quality of images and improve the identification performance. Comprehensive experimental evaluation on different sketch databases show that the proposed algorithm yields better identification performance compared to existing face recognition algorithms and two commercial face recognition systems. © 2012 IEEE.