FLORIDA KEYS - July 14, 2020 - According to an online news report published on the MiamiHerald.com, a Monroe County Sheriff's deputy is accused of illegally accessing the State of Florida driver's license database and another crime database to perform background checks for a private business. The suspect was retired as a Sheriff's deputy, however, he served as a reserve officer, which provided him with access to law enforcement databases. The semi-retired Sheriff's deputy turned himself in today to face criminal charges. The arrest report quoted in the news article states that the former active duty deputy conducted thousands of illegal background checks. The background checks were then turned over to security personnel working for an exclusive gated community in Key Largo, Florida, according to the retired deputy's arrest report.
The semi-retired Monroe County Sheriff's deputy is accused of checking individuals' through Florida's Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID). The background checks were performed for his security job at the Ocean Reef Resort. The resort is located on the north side of Key Largo, Florida. The suspect, a 53-year-old man, retired from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office back in 2018. However, the suspect signed on as a reserve deputy in January. This was the same month that the suspect was hired to head up Ocean Reef's security staff.
In addition to unlawfully accessing the DAVID system, the suspect is accused of illicitly accessing the Florida Crime Information Center, or FCIC, which is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The suspect conducted approximately 1,368 searches over two years, according to the suspect's Monroe County Sheriff's Office arrest warrant quoted by the news source.
According to the warrant, the suspect was arrested on 30 counts of accessing an electronic computer device without authorization. The news report also states that the suspect unlawfully accessed the DAVID database more than 2,920 times from January 2018 to April 17, 2020.
According to the news report, the suspect was terminated by Ocean Reef earlier this year.
A source intimate with the details of the investigation stated that a majority of the background checks conducted by the suspect were run on visitors, dayworkers, and resort vendors.
The suspect served as a reserve deputy, which gave him access to the DAVID system, according to the news report and its sources. Accessing the criminal system for non-law enforcement purposes is illegal. The suspect is well known for being in enforcement for many years in the Florida Keys communities. The suspect is also the owner of an indoor target shooting range located on the Overseas Highway in Key Largo, Florida.
The suspect is being held in the Monroe County Jail and has a bond set at $75,000. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated an investigation into the suspect´s alleged crimes back in April, according to the suspect´s arrest warrant.