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Deputy U.S. Marshal Pleads Guilty to Obtaining Cell Phone Location Information Unlawfully
Del Rio, TX
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Friday, June 30, 2023
For Immediate Release Office of Public Affairs
A deputy U.S. Marshal pleaded guilty today to misusing a law enforcement service to
obtain cell phone location information for personal use.
According to court documents, Adrian Pena, 49, of Del Rio, Texas, used a law
enforcement service to locate individuals with whom Pena had personal relationships
and their spouses. Pena obtained the cell phone data by uploading blank and random
documents to a system operated by Securus Technologies exclusively for authorized law
enforcement purposes. Pena falsely certified that those documents were official and that
they granted Pena permission to obtain the individuals’ data.
“Adrian Pena abused his position as a deputy U.S. Marshal when he used a law
enforcement service to locate the cell phones of personal associates and their spouses,
and then lied to cover up his illegal actions,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A.
Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “As this prosecution
demonstrates, the Justice Department and our partners are committed to holding
accountable any official who violates the public’s trust and misuses sensitive law
enforcement capabilities for personal ends.”
Pena also lied to law enforcement during the investigation. When Pena was asked,
“Other than yourself, have you ever pinged anybody using the system? You know, family
members, friends, ex-girlfriend?,” Pena falsely responded, “No.” After the interview, Pena
attempted to cover up his illegal actions by asking one of the individuals for a notarized
letter. Pena then drafted a statement in the individual’s name and caused the individual
to sign it. The statement falsely stated that the individual granted Pena unlimited access
to the individual’s social media and cell phone data, including call history, text
messages, and cell phone location data.
“We trust law enforcement officers to act with integrity. Instead, Pena abused his access
to sensitive information for personal gain,” said Special Agent in Charge Cloey C. Pierce
of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) Dallas Field
Office. “The DOJ-OIG is committed to rooting out those who abuse their power and
bringing them to justice.”
Pena pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining confidential phone records. He faces a
maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. A
federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S.
Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The DOJ-OIG is investigating the case.
Deputy Chief Robert Heberle and Trial Attorney Nicole Lockhart of the Criminal
Division’s Public Integrity Section (PIN) are prosecuting the case, with substantial
assistance from PIN Trial Attorney Alexander Gottfried
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