An NYPD detective was arrested this morning by federal agents for allegedly using his work computer to hack into the email accounts and cell phones of former and current officers. According to the FBI, 42-year-old Edwin Vargas paid $4,050 to email hacking companies for usernames and passwords of at least 30 people, 21 of them current or former NYPD employees. Vargas also allegedly accessed the National Crime Information Center to research two current NYPD officers without authorization.
More telephone numbers, home addresses, and vehicle information related to Vargas's victims were found on his Gmail account by investigators. According to the complaint, Vargas hacked into the accounts from April 2010 through October of 2012. The NYPD presented the FBI with Vargas's hard drive as evidence.
"Of all places, the police department is not a workplace where one should have to be concerned about an unscrupulous fellow employee," FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. So far it's unclear why the accounts were allegedly of interest to Vargas.
Vargas is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and one count of computer hacking; each count has a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
Vargas is the second NYPD employee to be arrested today: Captain Daniel Sosnowik was arrested early this morning for allegedly assaulting his wife. Last month an NYPD officer was busted by IRS agents for moonlighting as a crooked tax man.