Police officers are typically under heavy scrutiny from the media and citizens to make sure that they don’t abuse their powers. Well one New York Police Department detective is going to come under heavy scrutiny as he is accused of hiring e-mail hackers.
According to the New York Times, 42-year-old Detective Edwin Vargas was arraigned on Tuesday for illegally obtaining information on two of his fellow officers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation during the course of an investigation into a Los Angeles e-mail hacking group discovered that accounts for New York police officers had been hacked. Eventually, the information trail led back Vargas as he used a credit card and a PayPal account to pay for the information, which ranged from $50 to $250 for a total of $4,050. In total Vargas obtained information 43 e-mail accounts for 30 people which 19 were fellow NYPD officers.
So, why did a 20-year veteran of the NYPD do such a thing?
The answer is quite simple and the reason is a common reason for committing a crime. It was personal, according to law enforcement officials.
Vargas had a child with a fellow officer, but the two had broken up. Vargas suspected that she had started a new relationship with a fellow officer. No matter what the reason to George Venizelos, who is the head of the F.B.I.’s New York office, nobody should have to go through this.
“As alleged, the defendant illegally acquired log-in information for the e-mail accounts of dozens of people, including police department co-workers,” Venizelos said in a press release, according to Metro.us. “Of all places, the police department is not a workplace where one should have to be concerned about an unscrupulous fellow employee. Unlike the e-mail accounts, the defendant didn’t need to pay anyone to gain access to the NCIC database. But access is not authorization, and he had no authorization.”
Vargas has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and one count of computer hacking. Each count carries a sentence of up to one year in prison. Assistant United States Attorney Rosemary Nidiry is in charge of the prosecution of Vargas.