NYPD detective pays hackers to open coworkers’ personal emails during probe of his ex

Government (U.S.) // New York, United States

A cop hired an email hacking service to procure “the login details for at least 43 personal email accounts and one cell phone belonging to at least 30 individuals.”

Edwin Vargas, 42, of Bronxville, New York, stands accused of transferring $4,050 via PayPal to the professional crooks between March 2011 and October 2012.

Targets included 19 current NYPD officers, one retired from the NYPD, and another an administrative staff member of the NYPD.

“Vargas allegedly used the login credentials to peek into at least one personal email account belonging to a current NYPD officer. . .Law enforcement officials said that when they checked out the hard drive on Vargas' NYPD computer, they also found that his Gmail account Contacts section included a list of at least 20 email addresses, along with what looks like telephone numbers, home addresses, and vehicle information corresponding to those email addresses.”

Vargas apparently looked at one cop’s cell phone to see who was sending him text messages. He also allegedly accessed the federal National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database to get information about at least two NYPD officers and then tasked hackers with finding their logins.

“Unlike the email accounts, the defendant didn't need to pay anyone to gain access to the NCIC database. But access is not authorization, and he had no authorization.”

The New York Daily News reports that Vargas did it “to snoop on his ex-girlfriend.” The detective was looking to see who his ex, also a cop, was chatting with.

The incidents “may have been related to a relationship he had with a young woman and I believe the mother of his child,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.