Ex-FBI worker gets prison time for leaking data
A former FBI accounting technician who admitted accessing a confidential database and warning her husband about active investigations was sentenced to four months in prison.
Charmaine Moniz, 36, of Waialua also was sentenced to two months' home confinement and three years' probation by U.S. District Judge David Ezra, who said he wanted to send the message that her activity was "not tolerable nor acceptable."
Moniz showed no emotion but whispered with her lawyer, David Gierlach, as her sentence was handed down yesterday. Family members who packed the courthouse wept quietly and hugged each other.
Moniz declined to make a statement to the court and did not talk to reporters afterward. She was ordered to report on Oct. 2 to the federal detention center near Honolulu Airport.
Gierlach called the sentence "unfortunately long."
"This is a young woman who simply told her husband, 'Stay away from these creeps,' because she loved him," Gierlach said. "It's simply a case of a wife asking her husband to stay away from bad guys."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni declined comment after the sentencing.
In court she had urged Ezra to impose some form of confinement to "promote respect for the law and reflect the seriousness of this case."
"She was trusted with sensitive information, and she violated that trust," she added.
Moniz pleaded guilty in November to one count of unauthorized access of an FBI computer between July 13 and 31, 2003, to further the activities of her husband, Eric "Babu" Moniz, and his drug-dealing friends on the North Shore.
Prosecutors said she intentionally accessed the database in a manner that exceeded her authority.
According to a plea agreement, Charmaine Moniz admitted to conducting an index search of her husband in the FBI's database and also reviewing documents relating to the drug-dealing activities of Damien Kalei Hina, Jonathan Kimo Luna and Jess Lundgren -- all co-defendants with Moniz in a separate drug indictment. She admitted that she knew her husband was involved in the drug-dealing activities of Hina.
Eric Moniz, 35, was one of 23 people indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2006 after an internal FBI investigation.
He pleaded guilty in February to a charge of conspiring with others to possess, with intent to distribute, more than 500 grams, or 1.1 pounds, of methamphetamine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison. His sentencing is pending.
Gierlach declined to comment when asked about Charmaine Moniz's current relationship with her husband. The couple has three children.
Charmaine Moniz had faced a maximum of five years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Ezra did not impose any fine, saying he believed it would cause the Moniz family economic hardship.