An agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has been arrested and charged after a Wichita, KS, news anchor reported him to police for sending her sensitive and sexually inappropriate text messages.
KAKE-TV anchor Deb Farris met with police in March 2016, and claimed that ICE agent Andrew J. Pleviak had been texting her with sexually harassing messages. She claimed Pleviak had initially come to her and offered himself as a potential source for her reporting, providing, among other things, sensitive computer data regarding murder suspects in cases the agency was investigating.
“Then all of a sudden it turned inappropriate and he was texting me things that made me uncomfortable and I got scared,” Farris told the Associated Press.
Pleviak’s arrest was only made public this week, after authorities filed paperwork for the search they’d conducted on his iPhone, which reportedly uncovered information he’d deleted from his government-issued device.
Farris was quick to note that none of the information Pleviak had provided was never used for her on-air reporting.
“We never used a single thing he gave,” she told the International Business Times. “Nothing was really relevant.”
While it may have been the sexual messages that prompted Farris to contact the police, it was Pleviak’s handling of sensitive data that prompted authorities to charge him with two counts of “exceeding authorized access to a government computer for accessing information from the National Crime Information Center” and a separate count of “destruction of records in a federal investigation,” USA Today reported.
An ICE spokesperson refused to confirm whether Pleviak is still employed by the agency, telling the AP simply that ICE holds its employees “to the highest standards of behavior and ethics.” Pleviak’s attorney also declined to comment on his client’s case to both the AP and Fox News.
According to Fox, Pleviak was jailed after he violated his bond and is now awaiting a February 5 trial date.