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US Marshal Faces Decades in Prison for Abusing Law Enforcement Tech to Track Down Acquaintances and their Spouses

Filip TRUȚĂ

June 15, 2022

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US Marshal Faces Decades in Prison for Abusing Law Enforcement Tech to Track Down Acquaintances and their Spouses

A deputy US marshal is facing decades in prison after abusing law enforcement services to track down individuals by their cell phone location data, the US Department of Justice has announced.

Adrian Pena, 48, of Del Rio, Texas, allegedly misused a law enforcement service, and later made false statements about his use of that service, to obtain cell phone location information of people with whom he had personal relationships.

Pena made his initial appearance in a federal court yesterday in the Western District of Texas. Court documents allege that “Pena unlawfully used a law enforcement service operated by Securus Technologies Inc. (Securus) for personal reasons, including to obtain cell phone location information relating to multiple individuals with whom the defendant had personal relationships and their spouses.”

Securus is owned by Aventiv, which offers tablets with educational and self-improvement tools to help prepare incarcerated individuals for reentry, as well as to communicate digitally with family and friends. Prisoners and their loved ones can also use the technology to transfer funds.

Pena allegedly uploaded fake “official” documents to the Securus system and gave himself access to the individuals’ cell phone location information.

“After this activity became known to law enforcement, Pena lied to law enforcement officials about his use of the Securus service for personal reasons, including to locate individuals with whom he was or had been in a personal relationship,” according to the US Department of Justice.

“Pena also drafted an affidavit in the name of one of these individuals and persuaded that individual to sign the affidavit, which falsely stated that the individual had given Pena unlimited access to all of that individual’s personal cell phone information at all times,” the DOJ said.

The plaintiff is charged with 11 counts of obtaining confidential phone records, two counts of false statements, and one count of falsification of a record. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each count of obtaining confidential phone records, up to five years for each count of false statements, and up to 20 years for falsification of a record.

Securus also provides incident management, public information, investigation communication, information management, and monitoring products and services “to make our world a safer place to live,” according to the product’s website.

This case shows how legitimate technology can be gravely abused simply by landing in the wrong hands.

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