A NYPD detective was arrested on Tuesday over the allegations of spying and breaking into more than 40 email accounts out of which 21 belonged to his fellow officers.
According to the FBI Press Release for his arrest, the man called Edwin Vargas has also been accused of paying ‘thousands’ of dollars (almost $4000) to a hacking service to obtain the log in credentials of 43 email accounts and one cellular phone:
“Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, ‘As alleged, Detective Edwin Vargas paid thousands of dollars for the ability to illegally invade the privacy of his fellow officers and others. He is also alleged to have illegally obtained information about two officers from a federal database to which he had access based on his status as an NYPD detective. When law enforcement officers break the laws they are sworn to uphold, they do a disservice to their fellow officers, to the department, and to the public they serve, and it will not be tolerated.’”
Vargas was also questioned by authorities last month for cyberstalking his girlfriend. According to news sources, the NYPD detective broke into the email accounts to keep a check on his girlfriend because he thought she had been cheating on him. It’s crazy, isn’t it?
The NYPD officer put his career in jeopardy and got caught up with the FBI to snoop on his girlfriend, who assumingly is now his former girlfriend. But his pointless spying and hacking has proved that how power and authority can be misused by the NYPD officials and how the obtained information could’ve been used for purposes other than snooping on love interests.
Interestingly, Vargas also accessed the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database which is a federal database to obtain information about at least two NYPD officers without authorization.
Did he do this to spy on his girlfriend too? Doesn’t seem so. Anyway, the detective has been charged with two counts; one to conspire to hack computer and the other to commit the hacking.