An NYPD detective was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly spying on more than 40 email accounts, including 21 of his fellow officers.
NBC 4 New York reported that Edwin Vargas, 42, was questioned last month for stalking his ex-girlfriend online. Vargas suspected his ex-girlfriend had been cheating on him.
According to a FBI press release, Vargas allegedly paid an e-mail hacking service more than $4,000 to obtain the log-in credentials of at least 43 personal email accounts and one cellular phone belonging to at least 30 different individuals. Of those 30 individuals, 19 were current NYPD officers, one was a retired NYPD officer, and one was on the NYPD’s administrative staff.
Vargas was also accused of accessing a federal crime database to obtain information about two NYPD officers without authorization.
“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,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Vargas has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and one count of computer hacking. Each count carries a maximum one-year sentence.
NYPD officials told the Wall Street Journal he has been suspended with pay.
[“Stock Photo: Hacker Stealing Data From A Computer” on Shutterstock]