ICE agent apprehended after Kansas TV anchor goes to authorities

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018|4:08 p.m.

WICHITA, Kan.– A representative with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is facing federal charges after a Wichita television news anchor told local police that he was sending her delicate police product and text that were sexual in nature, newly launched court files show.

KAKE-TV Anchor Deborah Farris was spoken with by the Wichita Police Department in March during which officers photographed about 185 screen shots of text messages in between her and ICE Agent Andrew J. Pleviak, according to a probable cause affidavit. Farris also informed police she was considering making an application for a security from stalking order, but had not yet done so. It is unclear if authorities are still investigating the alleged harassment.

Farris told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Pleviak initially pertained to her asking to be her source, stating he had all type of info she would require for future stories.

“Then suddenly it turned inappropriate and he was texting me things that made me uneasy and I got terrified,” she stated, adding she contacted the Wichita Police Department who recommended her to put up security video cameras and make an authorities report. She then agreed to be spoken with by authorities.

The probable cause affidavit was revealed Monday after authorities submitted in court the carried out search warrant that was sent to Apple Computer Inc. Apple gave authorities access to Pleviak’s iCloud storage account that he had actually presumably erased from his government-issued mobile phone.

Federal prosecutors prosecuted Pleviak in July with 2 counts of surpassing authorized access to a federal government computer system for accessing details from the National Criminal Offense Info Center and one count of damage of records in a federal examination. He was imprisoned after supposedly violating his bond conditions and now deals with a competency hearing on Feb. 5. It is uncertain whether he is still used with ICE.

ICE emailed a declaration saying all Department of Homeland Securities employees are held “to the greatest standards of habits and principles,” but declined to talk about his employment.

Pleviak’s defense lawyer, Stephen Ariagno, declined to comment.

The case had actually not been reported by the media up until The Associated Press on Monday found the search warrant case throughout a regular check of brand-new court filings. The indictment versus Pleviak did not identify him as an ICE agent, and it had scant information of the nature of the charges versus him.

KAKE News Editor Anthony Maisel said the station did not report the story at the time due to the fact that they were concerned for Farris’ security and did not wish to antagonize the situation.

“There is a distinction between being a source and supplying details for the good of the general public and for a source to go off the rails and end up being a threat,” Maisel said. “Exactly what individuals tell us remains in confidence and we don’t share that details with anybody. But if that source ended up being an unsteady source, definitely we would watch out for the welfare of our press reporters.”

Homeland Security Investigations Agent Brian Beach wrote in his possible cause affidavit supporting the search warrant that Pleviak offered Farris in November 2016 with copies of digital criminal history reports for suspects. He was responding to text from Farris on two murder cases being investigated in Wichita including immigrants in the nation illegally.

“We never ever utilized a single thing he gave– nothing was truly pertinent,” Farris said.

Two days after Wichita cops spoke with Farris, Pleviak’s supervisor bought him to immediately relinquish his government-issued iPhone inning accordance with the affidavit. Beach’s affidavit likewise pointed out a September email where Pleviak presumably admitted from another location erasing details from the phone.

When district attorneys sought in October to withdraw his bond they declared Pleviak had been released from an inpatient drug abuse program for infractions of rules and issues he might be a danger to female homeowners of the program. The petition noted his spouse had actually also reported he was trying to obtain a firearm which he had been detained in October by Wichita authorities, but court records do disappoint any other publicly-filed state charges.

In a separate case filed in 2014, an international college student from Kenya who overstayed his visa sued Pleviak and others for strongly attacking him at ICE’s workplace in Wichita. The civil suit filed by immigrant Justine Mochama was ultimately dismissed.

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