Thomas Kantzos, a 17-year veteran of the Arlington Police Department who was arrested Tuesday night, was under investigation for buying anabolic steroids for himself and other officers, according to a federal complaint made public on Wednesday.
FBI agents took Officer Kantzos into custody Tuesday evening. He faces accusations that he accessed confidential government databases to help tip off a steroid dealer who was under police surveillance.
Kantzos is charged with exceeding authorized access to a protected computer, a federal offense that carries 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. More charges are pending.
During a detention hearing Wednesday afternoon –– his first in federal court –– a judge released Kantzos with conditions. He is to have no contact with witnesses in the case; he cannot handle firearms; he is not to use drugs, especially growth-enhancing; he must surrender his police credentials and his passport by 4 p.m. Thursday.
His next hearing has not been scheduled.
The criminal investigation, a joint effort between the FBI, the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers, reportedly also targeted two other officers: Ofc. Craig Hermans, 34, who has been placed on administrative leave, and Ofc. David Vo, who killed himself near his home on Park Run Dr. Tuesday afternoon.
Vo, 35, was arrested last week and released pending charges.
The federal affidavit released Wednesday, which only details the investigation into Kantzos’ alleged activities, says the officer purchased steroids for himself and others, including colleagues inside the Arlington Police Department, from a witness who was cooperating with federal agents.
The complaint also alleges Kantzos put the steroid dealer into direct contact with two other Arlington police officers, although they are never named.
When the investigation into the three was revealed Tuesday, authorities only said it was related to fraud and illicit computer usage. The affidavit sheds more light into that: Kantzos, 45, is accused of accessing information only available to law enforcement officers and offering it to the cooperating witness.
The dealer began cooperating with federal investigators after he was arrested in January for distributing anabolic steroids. He told authorities that he "routinely" sold the drugs to Kantzos for "the last five or six years." On one occasion, the witness delivered 20 kits of human growth hormone to Kantzos while he was on duty "wearing an Arlington Police Officer uniform and driving an Arlington Police Department marked patrol car," the complaint says.
Federal investigators reviewed text messages sent between Kantzos and the witness between Jan. 31, 2012 and Jan. 16, 2013. The text messages include direct references to specific steroids and quantities: "dec" refers to the anabolic steroid Deca Durabolin, "test" is testosterone or Anavar and "Winnie" is Winstrol.
In November or December of 2011, the witness was spooked by a suspicious pickup truck parked down the street from his house. The complaint says that the witness saw what appeared to be a man looking at a laptop in the driver's seat.
Delivering steroids to Kantzos later that day, the complaint alleges the witness had the officer run the truck's license plate number. Results came back to a police officer on a drug task force.
The affidavit says Kantzos used the Texas Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center databases to learn who the truck was registered to –– these are databases only accessible to trained and licensed law enforcement personnel. The information gleaned from them is not for public consumption.
And so, once the witness learned a drug task force officer was watching him, the complaint says he searched his own car and found a tracking device.
"The (cooperating witness) immediately began 'laying low' for three or four weeks," says the complaint.
The witness surfaced again in February, telling Kantzos he "got new way of doing."
"You still need?," the witness asked.
Kantzos continued to run plates for the dealer, searching the databases for at least four more vehicles and providing results to the witness. The last search occurred on April 23, according to the document.
On June 1, the complaint was filed. Kantzos was arrested on Tuesday. He was a patrol officer in his time with the department, said spokeswoman Tiara Richard. Hermans was also a patrol officer and Vo worked in patrol, gangs and criminal investigations.
News 8's Monika Diaz contributed to this report.