Two police officers from different departments are now facing felony charges after being accused of misusing an important police database.
Police use the Law Enforcement Automated Data System or “LEADS” to look up different information.
Information such as checking driving records, running license plate registrations, checking criminal histories or whether people have come into contact with during calls for service or traffic stops have any warrants.
Using LEADS for anything other than law enforcement purposes is a felony in Ohio.
The first case takes place in Clark County, the defendant is officer Michel Stratton.
Stratton was most recently an officer in South Charleston but was formerly an officer with Enon Police and Capitol University Police Department near Columbus.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office told News Center 7 Enon Police Department asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations to investigate the allegations into Stratton.
A Clark County Grand Jury indicted Stratton May 9.
In the indictment, Stratton is accused of one count of felony unauthorized use of property.
The indictment alleges he committed the crime between June 2015 and December 2019.
In a statement to News Center 7, the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office said Stratton “is accused of using LEADS information to look up individuals that were outside of his official law enforcement duties.”
Stratton’s Defense lawyer, Jon Paul Rion said he ran LEADS reports, but they were in the course of his occupation and for no other reason.
The second case is in Mercer County involving Celina Police Officer Mark Burgoon, who has since retired.
A Mercer County Grand Jury indicted him June 16.
Burgoon is accused of improperly using LEADS to identify a person who he believed was a friend of his wife, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said Burgoon and his wife were separated when she contacted the sheriff’s office in November, asking them to look into the allegation that he was harassing her and missing the law enforcement database to look up her friends.
Burgoon’s next court date is June 28.
In Clark County, Stratton’s lawyer said they plan on taking the case to a jury trial but it has yet to be scheduled.