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AG COX CHARGES FOUR IN SCHEME TO ACCESS MICHIGAN STATE POLICE SECURE RADIO SYSTEM

Attorney General Press Release

December 17, 2004

            Lansing, MI – Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced today that he has charged four persons with participating in a scheme to obtain and sell stolen or illegally manufactured Motorola radios and to program those radios to access the Michigan State Police 800 MHz radio system. The 800 MHz system is a secure private radio system that can only be accessed by law enforcement or other public service agencies that have been authorized to use it.

            The charges were filed in the 61st District Court in Grand Rapids. Those charged are Andrew John Felde, 41, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; James Edward Werner, 38, of Rockford, Michigan; James Benjamin Brunk, 44, of Cadillac, Michigan; and Jerry Lee Frick, 63, of Walkerville, Michigan.

            The charges allege that Felde obtained either stolen or illegally manufactured Motorola radios. Werner and Brunk, who were Michigan State Police civilian employees, aided Felde in his efforts to program the radios to access the 800 MHz system by providing him with otherwise unobtainable computer software and templates for the radios so that they would operate on the system. Frick, who is the chief of the Walkerville Fire Department, then purchased at half-price three of these radios from Felde, in part with grant money obtained by submitting a fraudulent invoice to Mason/Oceana 911.

            "In today's atmosphere where homeland security is paramount, law enforcement agencies must be able to communicate without the possibility that others can eavesdrop and hear communications to which they should not be privy," Cox said. "The 800 MHz system is designed so that law enforcement and other governmental agencies can communicate with each other without concern that lawbreakers and others can overhear those conversations. In this case, efforts were made to compromise the system. It is fortunate these efforts were stopped before any damage to the system occurred," Cox added.

            Felde is charged with one count of receiving and concealing stolen property between $1,000 and $20,000; one count of fraudulently accessing a computer network to obtain between $1,000 and $20,000; and one count of unauthorized access to a computer network, all five-year felonies; and one count of receiving and concealing stolen property over $20,000; and one count of using a computer to commit a ten-year felony, both ten-year felonies.

            Werner is charged with one count of embezzlement by an agent or trustee between $1,000 and $20,000; one count of fraudulently accessing a computer network to obtain between $1,000 and $20,000; and one count of unauthorized access to a computer network, all five-year felonies.

            Brunk is charged with one count of fraudulently accessing a computer network to obtain between $1,000 and $20,000; and one count of unauthorized access to a computer network, both five-year felonies.

            Frick is charged with one count of uttering and publishing, a fourteen-year felony; and one count of misconduct in office, a five-year felony.


-- 30 --


For further information contact: Randall Thompson
517-373-8060 (Office)
State of Michigan, Department of Attorney General

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