Former Arlington, Texas, Police Officer Admits Unlawfully Accessing And Unlawfully Providing Law Enforcement Sensitive Information To A Known Drug Dealer
DALLAS — Thomas S. Kantzos, 45, of Fort Worth, Texas, a former officer with the Arlington Police Department (APD), appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver and pleaded guilty to an Indictment charging exceeding access to a protected computer, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
As an officer with the APD, Kantzos was authorized to access law enforcement information obtained through the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC), the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (TLETS), and he received specialized training on the authorized uses of the information, as well as the potential penalties for the misuse of such information. Personal use of such information, including releasing information to members of the general public, is not authorized and violates APD policy.
Prior to December 2011, Kantzos knew that “Person A” was an individual who trafficked in anabolic steroids. In fact, Kantzos had received anabolic steroids from Person A for both his own use and for the use of other APD officers. In November or December 2011, Person A suspected that he was under police surveillance.
On December 29, 2011, Person A saw a motor vehicle parked near his house and asked Kantzos to “run” the license plate because he was concerned that law enforcement was watching him and he didn’t want to get arrested for trafficking the anabolic steroids. Kantzos, without a legitimate law enforcement purpose, used the computer in his patrol car, while he was on duty, to access the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) protected computer through TLETS, under the guise of conducting a stolen vehicle investigative inquiry. His computer inquiry automatically searched for information about that motor vehicle contained in law enforcement computers located in Texas and in other states, such as the NCIC computer.
Kantzos admits he knew the use of this computer for this purpose exceeded authorized use. After Kantzos obtained the information about the vehicle, he relayed the information to Person A to help Person A avoid arrest, apprehension or disruption while Person A unlawfully trafficked in the anabolic steroids.
Kantzos, who remains on bond, faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for February 12, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Texas Ranger Division of the Texas DPS. Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Penley are prosecuting.