March 24, 2012

Key West man charged with illegally accessing government computers

Key West – A Key West man is in jail, charged with illegally accessing computers belonging to the Key Largo Water Treatment Facility.

When Detective Robert Dosh interviewed suspect Sal Zappullo at his home on Gerome Lane in Key West on March 14th, Zappullo bragged about using passwords belonging to other employees of the facility to access the facility’s computers from home. Zappullo used to work for the Key Largo Water Treatment facility, but his contract was not renewed. At the time he accessed the computers from home, he no longer worked for the facility.

He told Detective Dosh he accessed the computers illegally to prove the computer system was not secure. Zappullo told the detective he accessed the computers and downloaded emails and other documents pertaining to him. Further investigation revealed he also deleted some information as well.

The Computer Manager for the facility, Paul Christian, contacted the Sheriff’s Office in February to report the crimes. He told Detective Dosh he was doing a routine check of employee email when he came across a number of emails from an employee’s email account, sent to an address he recognized: zapkeywest@comcastlnet. He said he knew the address belonged to Zappullo from the time Zappullo worked for the facility. He began investigating further and found more evidence Zappullo had been illegally accessing the facility’s computers and downloading information and emails using the passwords and email accounts of current employees.

After a detailed investigation, Detective Dosh obtained a warrant for the arrest of Zappullo. Today, Zappullo was picked up on the warrant. He was charged with 9 misdemeanor counts and 21 felony counts related to his actions. He was booked into jail.

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