Deputy U.S. Marshal Charged with Unlawfully Obtaining Cell Phone Location Information
A Deputy U.S. Marshal has been charged by indictment with unlawfully obtaining cell phone location information by misusing a law enforcement service, and later making false statements about his use of that service.
Adrian Pena, 48, of Del Rio, Texas, made his initial appearance in federal court yesterday in the Western District of Texas.
According to court documents, Pena allegedly 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. Pena obtained this information by uploading false and fraudulent documents to the Securus system and by certifying that those documents were official documents giving permission to obtain the relevant 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. 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.
Pena 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 in prison for each count of false statements, and up to 20 years in prison for falsification of a record. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Cloey C. Pierce of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) Dallas Field Office made the announcement.
DOJ-OIG is investigating the case.
Deputy Chief Robert Heberle and Trial Attorney Nicole Lockhart of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.