A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent accused of sending sensitive law enforcement information and sexual text messages to a Kansas news anchor is facing federal charges, court documents say.
The Wichita Police Department interviewed KAKE-TV anchor Deb Farris in March and photographed about 185 screenshots of text messages allegedly sent to her by ICE Agent Andrew J. Pleviak, according to an affidavit.
Farris said Tuesday that Pleviak had come to her and asked to be her source, saying he could give her information for future stories.
When the text messages turned inappropriate, Farris said, she got scared and contacted Wichita police. They advised her to put up security cameras and file a police report. She then agreed to be interviewed by police.
KAKE News Editor Anthony Maisel said the station held the story at the time because it had concerns for Farris’ safety.
"There is a difference between being a source and providing information for the good of the public and for a source to go off the rails and become a threat," Maisel said. He added that the station needs to look out for the welfare of their reporters should a source become unstable.
The probable-cause affidavit was made public Monday after authorities filed the executed search warrant in court and sent it to Apple, which granted authorities access to Pleviak’s iCloud storage account.
That account contained information that Pleviak allegedly deleted from his government-issued cellphone.
Federal prosecutors indicted Pleviak in July on two counts of exceeding authorized access to a government computer intended for accessing information from the National Crime Information Center and one count of destruction of records in a federal investigation.
It is not clear if authorities are still investigating the alleged harassment.
Pleviak was jailed after allegedly violating his bond conditions and faces a competency hearing Feb. 5.
ICE declined to comment on whether Pleviak was still an employee. The agency issued a statement saying all Department of Homeland Security employees are held “to the highest standards of behavior and ethics.”
Pleviak's defense attorney, Stephen Ariagno, declined to comment.
According to Homeland Security Investigations Agent Brian Beach, in November 2016 Pleviak had provided Farris with copies of suspects’ computerized criminal history regarding murder cases under investigation that involved illegal immigrants.
"We never used a single thing he gave — nothing was really relevant," Farris said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.