A former Florida officer accused of using police databases as a personal dating service, says chief


An investigation by the Bradenton Police Department revealed that former officer Leonel Marines had targeted women and took advantage of his job to approach them about appointments, said Chief Melanie Bevan. He may have had sex with some of them, even on duty, she said.

Bevan said that his department had contacted up to 150 women during their investigation; she says the Marines may have targeted a smaller number of these women.

At a press conference held on March 7, Bevan called the revelation "a truly disturbing situation". She said that she personally met a large number of the women that the Marines would have targeted to tell them that "the actions of the Marines do not represent those who proudly wear this uniform and this badge, but also simply to say to them: " I am sorry. & # 39; "

The 12-year-old force veteran was removed from the patrol, placed on unpaid administrative leave, and stripped of his badge, firearm and uniform. He resigned on October 30th. If the Marines had not resigned, "he would have been sacked," Bevan said.

Bradenton police have assigned a criminal investigation to the FBI, which is conducting its own investigation.

Good King News left messages on the Marines voicemail to solicit comments, but did not hear from him. Attempts made this week to determine if he had a lawyer were unsuccessful.

Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan at a press conference.

He was caught after allegedly following a woman at home

Police discovered the alleged Marines' ploy after a woman and her parents complained last June, the chief said.

The former officer had met the woman on the parking lot of a local shop, said Bevan, and had followed her almost home in her police car. He knocked on the door of his parents' house and told them that he wanted to talk to their daughter about a "domestic problem," Bevan said.

Her parents refused the request and asked for Marines' name and contact information for her supervisor, Bevan said. The Marines are gone quickly.

The woman's parents called the Bradenton Police Department, where a quartermaster told them that Marines was the officer on duty at that time, Bevan said. The quartermaster said the Marines had explained that he had followed the woman home because she had the headlights open, said Bevan.

"The two stories really did not fit," said the chef.

Bevan ordered an investigation.

He reportedly targeted women since 2012

The investigators questioned the Marines on the use of the database of information on drivers and vehicles of the state.

Bevan said that "several hundreds" of the Marines 'search queries in the department' s database were very different from the "open and active cases" on which he and his law enforcement colleagues were working in the United States. exercise of their official functions.

"A very, very clear tendency to focus on female / male names has emerged," she said.

The BPD's internal investigation revealed that the alleged behavior of the Marines went back to 2012.

The department identified 150 women who, in his opinion, would be involved in the case and reduced the shorter list with which the Marines had a "negative and inappropriate direct contact … while posing as an agent". Bradenton police, "said Bevan.

He used the information from the database to contact women via social media, phone calls or home visits, in order to "try to get appointments with these women," said Bevan. .

He sometimes succeeded, said the leader, adding that the majority of women in the Marines were Hispanics.

The investigators believe that the Marines have committed numerous administrative offenses, including sex on duty. Bradenton police refused to release the results of his internal investigation, as Marines could be charged with criminal charges, Bevan said.

Police published a photo of Marines so that the public could provide additional information to the FBI as part of its investigation.