Former Task Force Intelligence Analyst Arrested for Harassing Former Girlfriend
by Jim Kouri
A former drug task force intelligence analyst was arrested for using his law enforcement position to harass his former girlfriend and falsely implicate her in a drug investigation.
Earl S. Hoffman, Jr., age 40, formerly of Lowell, was arrested late yesterday night on a four-count indictment unsealed today alleging that he falsified records in a federal investigation, made false statements to federal officers, committed wire fraud, and violated the Driver's Privacy Protection Act. Hoffman was arrested at a remote border crossing from Canada into Vermont, after having spent the last year working overseas.
The indictment alleges that in 2007, Hoffman worked for the Massachusetts National Guard and was assigned to the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. While there, Hoffman worked out of a United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Worcester to collect and analyze information for the task force's drug-related criminal investigations. To accomplish this, the indictment alleges, Hoffman was provided access to various computer databases with sensitive information, which he was supposed to use solely to assist criminal drug investigations.
The indictment alleges that in late May 2007, Hoffman accessed the driver's license and criminal history records for a woman identified in the indictment as "B.P.," with whom Hoffman had shared an intimate relationship that had ended badly approximately two years earlier. According to the indictment, he then sent B.P.'s son an e-mail that included B.P.'s driver's license photograph and an insult to B.P. Hoffman falsely made the e-mail look as if B.P.'s current boyfriend had sent it, which he had not.
After one or more similar communications to B.P. and her son, in late August 2007, Hoffman pretended again to be B.P.'s current boyfriend and sent B.P.'s son an e-mail or instant message that included B.P.'s driver's license photograph and a pornographic picture. Earlier in the summer, the indictment alleges, Hoffman had sent a DEA subpoena to obtain B.P.'s telephone records.
According to the indictment, when the DEA inquired into the matter, Hoffman falsely stated that he had requested B.P.'s driver's license, criminal history, and telephone records as part of an ongoing, legitimate drug investigation.
The indictment further alleges that Hoffman entered into a DEA database information about B.P.'s telephone number. The indictment alleges that Hoffman then altered a telephone company report to falsely indicate that B.P.'s telephone number was connected to the telephone number of a suspect in an actual, ongoing drug investigation. Hoffman allegedly gave the DEA this report to falsely implicate B.P. and justify his actions. By inspecting the records carefully, law enforcement ensured that his actions did not result in a false prosecution.
The indictment alleges one count of wire fraud against Hoffman for defrauding the Massachusetts National Guard, the task force, and the DEA of their right to his honest services; one count of falsifying records in a federal investigation for altering the call report and entering false information into the DEA's internal database; one count alleging a variety of material false statements, representations, and omissions during the DEA investigation; and one count of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act for knowingly obtaining B.P.'s driver's license photograph, Social Security number, and other information for the unlawful purpose of harassing her and her son. This is the first-known criminal charge under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act.
The case is being investigated by the United States Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Massachusetts National Guard. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott L. Garland and Jeffrey M. Cohen, of Sullivan's Computer Crimes and Public Corruption Units.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.