United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Sheriff Royce Edward Toney, 64, of Monroe, La., was arrested today on charges of conspiracy, computer fraud, identity theft, and obstruction.
Toney was elected Sheriff on October 20, 2007, and took office on July 1, 2008. He did not seek re-election. Also charged was Michael Karl Davis, a major with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office who works in the IT department.
The indictment alleges that Toney and Davis engaged in a conspiracy to track a third party’s communications and, once Davis learned that the FBI wanted to speak with him, he tried to cover up the illegal activity. The indictment further alleges that Toney and Davis accessed a protected computer without authorization on nine occasions from April of 2010 to October of 2010, and that Toney and Davis committed the crime of identity theft by utilizing an AOL email address and password belonging to another person. Toney and Davis are charged with one count of obstruction for reformatting and installing a new operating system on a computer after Davis learned of the ongoing FBI investigation.
Finally, Toney is charged with obstruction by retaliating against a witness who was cooperating with the FBI investigation.
If convicted, Toney and Davis faces maximum potential penalties of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine or both for each of the computer crime charges and five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both for each of the conspiracy, identity theft and obstruction charges.
Note: An indictment is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.