PHOENIX — A former Honeywell International Inc. employee has been charged with computer fraud after he allegedly met with FBI agents pretending to be Mexican cartel members interested in buying access to a Honeywell location-tracking system.
An FBI probable-cause statement included with a criminal complaint filed Saturday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix said Robert Jeremy Miller of Phoenix was arrested Friday immediately after he met with the undercover agents.
During the meeting, Miler demonstrated how to remotely log into a satellite-based system that corporate and government customers of Honeywell use to track aircraft, vehicles and vessels, the FBI statement said.
Court documents filed in the criminal case and a civil case stemming from a lawsuit filed by Honeywell against Miller said the company in February terminated Miller as a senior project management specialist responsible for administering the satellite tracking system.
A man who acted as an intermediary between the FBI and Miller told Miller that the intermediary believed the Mexican cartel would pay $2 million for access to the tracking system, the statement said.
According to the FBI statement, Miller told agents after he was arrested that his reason for meeting with purported cartel members was to gather and share information with law enforcement.
Defence attorney Loyd Tate said Tuesday it was too early to assess any basis for the allegations against Miller.
The FBI statement provides few details on who allegedly said what or what they did, Tate said in an interview.
“Let’s give Mr. Miller due process — at least let’s give persons like myself a chance to listen to recordings and read reports before all of these conclusions are coming out as to motive,” Tate said.
A judge on Monday ordered Miller to remain in custody pending a detention hearing Wednesday.
The lawsuit that Honeywell filed in March against Miller alleged he stole trade secrets from the company, including a database of customers and pricing information.
Miller has not responded to the lawsuit, and Honeywell on Tuesday asked the court clerk to enter a default judgment against Miller.