Feeds

Accused DEA data-thief skips bail

Must be on drugs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Federal agents in Los Angeles are searching for a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who last week skipped out on felony charges of illegally selling sensitive information about private citizens from law enforcement computers, SecurityFocus has learned.

"He's a fugitive," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's office on Friday. "He was out on bail, he made all of his appearances... Then he didn't show up for trial."

Emilio Calatayud, 35, had been free on a $100,000 property bond since January, 2001, when prosecutors charged him with wire fraud, bribery, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for allegedly selling criminal history and law enforcement information to private investigations firm Triple Check Investigative Services in Los Angeles.

The purloined data allegedly came from three law enforcement computers to which Calatayud had otherwise lawful access: the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which maintains nationwide records on arrest histories, convictions and warrants; the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS), a state network that gives agents access to California motor vehicle records, rap sheets and fingerprints; and a DEA system called the Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Information System (NADDIS), described by a Justice Department web page as a database of "over 3,500,000 individuals, businesses, vessels and selected airfields."

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Justice Department, the IRS, and the DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Calatayud's trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday, February 5th. When he didn't show up, the trial judge continued the case to Thursday. The former agent again failed to appear in court, and is now being sought by his former colleagues in law enforcement.

"The investigators involved in this case are looking for him," said Mrozek. "I know they're all eager to see him back in court."

According to Mrozek, Calatayud's attorney could not account for his client's disappearance. The lawyer, John Yzurdiaga, did not return a reporter's phone calls.

Prosecutors say Calatayud peddled data for six years beginning in 1993, supplementing his government paycheck by anywhere from $1,080 to $8,500 in cash each year. In all, Calatayud allegedly earned at least $22,580 with his computer access, at a rate of between $60 and $80 per target.

At that price, if he's guilty, Calatayud can't be accused of overcharging.

In an unrelated data-selling scandal last year, prosecutors charged Maria Emeterio, an officer with the Nevada Attorney General's Office, and Mary Ellen Weeks, an employee of the Las Vegas Municipal court system, with selling over 100 NCIC records to a Las Vegas private investigator for $100 a piece. The private investigator, a former FBI agent, has pleaded guilty in the case.

The vital black market for law enforcement data troubles some privacy advocates, as Washington contemplates creating even more powerful databases in response to the September 11 attacks.

One system under development, as reported by the Washington Post, would link airline reservation computers to government and private databases, creating a single network capable of tracking a person's travel habits, credit card purchases, living arrangements, and other information.

"People in law enforcement already have access to a great deal of personal information," says Tena Friery, research director at the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. "If that information is being used or being sold, it can have the effect of giving us less security, not more."

© 2002 SecurityFocus.com, all rights reserved.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.