FDLE arrests Santa Rosa detention deputy for theft of intellectual property
SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) —
A Santa Rosa County detention deputy is out on bond after he was arrested and charged with theft of intellectual property.
Russel Scott, 49, is accused of taking unauthorized files from his previous employer and storing them on the sheriff's office computer system.
Scott's arrest on Monday followed an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said it was someone within his department who helped uncover the alleged crime.
"The main thing I want the public to know is that we police our own and once we find somebody breaking the law, whether they're in a uniform or not, we deal with it."
Sheriff Johnson said FDLE was notified after another employee discovered the files.
They believe Scott stole confidential information from SmartCOP, his previous employer, and kept them stored on his personal drive within the sheriff's office computer system.
The office's Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system uses SmartCOP.
Sheriff Johnson said the public has access to a limited version of CAD.
He said, "You can't pull up personal information on victims or suspects, or social security numbers, driver's license numbers, and things like that whereas with us the Computer Aided Dispatch you can do all that. You can pull up the notes on the call and the notes sometimes are really graphic and specific."
The files could have been used in different ways, including selling personal information.
Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said, "Now in this case at this time we do not have any information that any of the files that this individual is alleged to have stolen has been used for any purposes other than the fact that he has taken them."
Marcille said computer crimes are rare in this area.
"We do see cases occasionally but it is fairly uncommon in this area. Certainly, in other areas where there are larger internet type businesses or software type businesses, it may be more prevalent," Marcille said.
The arrest report also states there was disciplinary action taken against Scott while he worked at SmartCOP for unauthorized possession of SmartCOP files but no legal action was taken since he cooperated and allegedly deleted the files he possessed.
Sheriff Johnson said there are systems in place to monitor employees online activity.