The investigation leading to the trooper's arrest began on Monday, Jan. 9, when Connecticut State Police learned that Trooper Mitchell Paz, age 29, had allegedly allowed a third party to access a state police reporting system that contained sensitive information, according to state police.
Upon further investigation into the matter, authorities determined that Paz had accessed LEAS, a system that electronically stores reports from state police investigations, during his off-duty hours.
Because of this, Paz was immediately placed on administrative leave with no police powers as state police commenced a criminal investigation.
According to state police, Paz allegedly accessed the system in January 2023 in order to find information related to an investigation into Litchfield County resident Shawn Roka, age 32, of Watertown, that had resulted in his arrest on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, for various drug and firearms charges.
Paz then allegedly gave this information to his girlfriend, Litchfield County resident Amanda Marino, age 32, of Terryville, who had previously had a child with Roka.
Marino later shared this information with Roka, which helped reveal the identity of a confidential informant who had been instrumental in the investigation leading to Roka's arrest, according to Paz's arrest warrant.
As a result of the investigation into the matter, both Roka and Marino were arrested on Thursday, Feb. 23, and charged with third-degree conspiracy to commit a computer crime.
Weeks later, on Wednesday, March 15, Paz was arrested at state police Troop I headquarters in Bethany and charged with the following:
- Two counts of third-degree computer crime;
- Two counts of third-degree conspiracy to commit computer crime.
Additionally, Paz has been suspended with pay and a state police internal affairs investigation has been initiated. Paz may also potentially be decertified in accordance with the police accountability act.
Paz posted a $15,000 bond and will appear in court on Wednesday, March 29.
A sworn member of the Connecticut State Police since 2015, Paz was previously assigned to Troop A in Southbury and Troop G in Bridgeport and had been serving with Troop I in Bethany while on administrative leave.
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