Derrick R. Thomas faced up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he entered a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice because he decided to search the NCIC database to check out people for a friend. Thomas was dispatcher with the Gardendale police department in Alabama.
According to Thomas’ plea agreement, he logged into the ACJIC/NCIC system on multiple occasions in order to gather and provide information to an acquaintance who was not a law enforcement officer.
By doing so, Thomas engaged in unauthorized public dissemination of personal information. Thomas knew he was authorized to use the ACJIC/NCIC system only for law enforcement purposes and that accessing it for other purposes was a crime, according to the plea agreement.
The Secret Service investigated the case with the assistance of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Williamson Barnes is prosecuting.