A Harford County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested on Thursday and charged with bribery, theft of National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer information, willfully distributing a valid NCIC code, and malfeasance in office after a two-month investigation uncovered he was providing privileged information to a Baltimore based towing company.
Deputy Todd Edward Johnson, 30, of Aberdeen, was arrested Thursday morning by detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Intelligence Unit, Special Investigation Division. He was taken into custody at his
Johnson, a 7-year member of the agency, worked in the Patrol Operations Division assigned to the Northern Precinct.
The investigation began in February when the Sheriff’s Office Internal
Affairs Unit received information a deputy was involved in criminal activity.
It is alleged that Johnson colluded with with Final Notice Recovery and Location in Baltimore. Final Notice Recovery and Location is a towing
company which repossesses vehicles for banks and creditors.
Using his agency police credentials, Johnson would conduct computer searches on vehicle tag numbers provided by the company in an attempt to locate vehicles and owners. He also used the NCIC database as a search engine to look for additional information on vehicle
owners, which is otherwise not available to towing companies.
In exchange for this information Johnson is thought to have received financial reimbursements as payment.
Shortly after his arrest, detectives executed search and seizure warrants at his home in Aberdeen and at the towing business in Baltimore.
Sheriff Jesse Bane said these allegations are disappointing and unfortunate and will be investigated thoroughly.
“Police are empowered with specific tools and resources to do their job effectively. Misuse of those resources is not only unethical, it is illegal,” he said, adding, “If these allegations are true then this is an egregious breach of the public trust and can undermine the confidence the public has in law enforcement.”
Johnson has been suspended without pay. He was taken to the Harford County Detention Center for processing where, after a hearing before a Harford County District Court Commissioner, he was released on his own recognizance.
The investigation is ongoing.