MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Connecticut State Police trooper was arrested Wednesday for allegedly allowing his girlfriend to access a state police reporting system that contains sensitive information.
State police are conducting an internal affairs investigation into 29-year-old Trooper Mitchell Paz, officials said.
State police said Paz allowed his girlfriend, Amanda A. Marino, 32, of Terryville, to access the Law Enforcement Administrative Software (LEAS) by NexGen Public Safety Solutions.
Paz was immediately placed on administrative leave, and his police powers were revoked. State police detectives then began conducting a criminal investigation.
Paz was charged with committing two counts of third-degree computer crimes and two counts of third-degree conspiracy to commit computer crime.
Paz posted a $15,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Mar. 29.
Marino allegedly used the system to access information about a drug trafficking investigation involving the father of her child, 32-year-old Shawn Roka, of Watertown. Paz was not involved in the investigation, and state police said there was no reason he would have access to the reports.
In August 2022, state police began investigating Roka’s potential drug deals. On Dec. 19, 2022, Roka was arrested on numerous drug and firearm charges pending in the Waterbury Judicial District.
Paz’s patrol vehicle had access to the LEAS, allowing him to enter the database even when he was off duty.
According to authorities, Paz’s username and password were used to sign into the system when he wasn’t at work.
Police said Roka and Marino were in the same place when the information on Roka’s case was accessed on Jan. 4 and Jan. 6. Data showed Paz’s account looked up four separate incidents related to Roka’s investigation.
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The information Marino obtained dates, names, and details of drug sale activities, including the amount and types of drugs seized in the arrest, state police said.
Investigators said the information Marino collected could also jeopardize the identities of undercover officers and confidential informants. Marino then allegedly gave the information to Roka.
An image of a screenshot of a text message conversation showed Roka and Marino discussing a person Roka suspected to be the confidential informant.
Text messages showed Marino asking Roka to tell his lawyer about the newly learned information, not to mention her involvement.
It is unclear whether or not Paz was aware that Marino was accessing police systems to pass on the information.
Paz has been a member of the Connecticut State Police since 2015. He was first assigned to Troop A in Southbury and then Troop G in Bridgeport. Police said he most recently served for Troop I in Bethany while on administrative leave.
Prior to his arrest, Paz was suspended with pay. Police said a referral had been made for a potential POST decertification per the Police Accountability Act.
State police made two prior arrests on Feb. 23 concerning the investigation.
Roka was charged with one count of third-degree conspiracy to commit computer crime.
Marino was charged with two counts of third-degree computer crimes and one count of conspiracy to commit computer crimes.