Salt Lake City IT employee knowingly endangered officer lives in deal for sex, prosecutors say
Prosecutors this week accused a recently arrested IT worker in Salt Lake City of exploiting his position and “knowingly jeopardizing the lives of countless law enforcement officers” by trading sensitive police information for sex.
Patrick Kevin Driscoll, 50, has been tried in the 3rd District Court on two counts of cybercrime (tampering with critical infrastructure), three cases of obstruction of justice, and one case of illegal activity, all second degree crimes.
“The damage Driscoll has done to both the safety and integrity of the Salt Lake City Police Department is immeasurable,” said indictments filed by the Utah Attorney General.
He is also facing charges of exploitation of prostitution, a third-degree crime and aiding and abetting prostitution, a class A misdemeanor. He was arrested last week and is being held in Salt Lake County Prison without bail.
Driscoll is alleged to have made a deal with Michael Joe Ricks, 49, who was charged on October 7th with aggravated human trafficking, serious exploitation of prostitution and several drug-related charges.
In line with the deal, Driscoll gave Rick’s sensitive police information via encrypted messages, including names and phone numbers of undercover agents working to investigate prostitution and human trafficking, according to a likely explanation of the cause. Driscoll has also reportedly briefed Ricks about covert operations in apartments or hotels where Ricks allegedly worked.
In turn, at least two victims told police they were “forced to engage in sexual activity” with Driscoll, who, according to the likely cause statement, was called “The Guardian”.
Driscoll told investigators that he was employed in Salt Lake City for about four years and that he was assigned to the city police for about seven or eight months. In a statement last week, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown made it clear that the city’s IT staff was not a member of the Salt Lake City Police Department.
“The allegations, as described in court documents, are very worrying,” said Brown.
Driscoll initially denied access to police files, but later admitted doing it from home, according to the likely cause statement. Driscoll told investigators that the information he gave Ricks was “false and illegitimate”.
Driscoll also admitted to having “engaged in several commercial sex transactions” with the two victims, the indictment documents state.
After police issued a search warrant in Driscoll’s home, police found an electronic storage device that contained “sensitive data” from Salt Lake City Police, including the identity of undercover officers, information about their vehicles, intelligence files of gang members, information about commercial sex workers “and” other information not available to the public, “the indictment states.
Driscoll in the case demonstrated a “blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of law enforcement and vulnerable victims” in exchange for its own financial and personal gain, the documents read.
His behavior will “impact multiple law enforcement agencies, cost thousands of dollars, and require hundreds of man-hours to test and repair,” the prosecution said.
The investigation into Driscoll’s “cyber intrusion” is ongoing and further charges are possible, according to the prosecutor.