Abusing the Badge
Cristal M Clark
After a Florida women reported a rather unusual encounter with an officer from the Bradenton police department who just showed up at her parents home, an investigation uncovered that 36-year-old Leonel Marines had been using the states police database to basically procure dates and to stalk women.
Turns out that the only way Leonel would have known where the woman could be found was by utilizing that database because he met her briefly at an entirely different location previous to that particular moment in time.
Leonel worked for the Bradenton Police Department in Florida for 12 years, where he decided rather than pay a dating site to procure the future Mrs. he would just use his access to attempt to date at least 150 women. Match.com or Eharmony can be expensive when living on a cops salary and trying to date, so using the database makes all the sense in the world.
Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan had this to say at a press conference on Thursday; “An audit of Leonel’s searches of the Driver and Vehicle Information Database revealed several hundred questionable database queries of women.”
The internal audit showed that the names Leonel looked up were oddly predominantly names of women, so the guy is either a womanizer or he was looking to get a little. What really gave it away here was the fact that he mostly looked up then solicited Hispanic women, many of which who did not speak English so, he was victimizing and exploiting them. Women who would be too afraid to report him and that is, complete abuse of the badge.
Leonel was using information from the database in several ways, social media, cold calls, visits to women’s homes and all under the guise of being there for police business. That however is not the worst of it, this is not the first time Leonel had been caught abusing his privilege and the badge.
Back in 2012 after allegedly showing up at a woman’s home unprompted on several occasions an investigation was opened. After that investigation, it was revealed he was using the database to stalk women, he was reportedly suspended for 3 days without pay, kept his job and seemingly continued to stalk women using the database.
In the current investigation well it has been closed by the Bradenton Internal Investigations Unit after finding Leonel in administrative violation of “gross misconduct to include misuse of criminal justice information, violation of our record security policy and sex on duty.” He was reportedly put on administrative leave and well he resigned in October. But the case has gained the attention of the FBI who is conducting a very aggressive criminal investigation.
The FBI takes this type of criminal activity very seriously. When I worked in the system years ago, everyone who had access to any of the criminal/driving databases was duly informed any type of abusive use of said database could result in felony charges, jail and huge fines and that abuse was in fact utilizing said database to look people up who were not part of any criminal investigation or court proceedings, i.e. looking potential dates, running unauthorized background checks and the like.
Florida may be one of the most unusual states when it comes to criminal activity and oddities, it appears that even so, the FBI is not going to give them a free pass on this one.
Cristal M Clark