U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Police officer charged with leaking information to Florida newspaper

Incident Details

Date of Incident
December 6, 2019
Sunrise, Florida

Leak Case

Alleged Recipient of Leak
Charged under Espionage Act

Sunrise Police Department Sgt. Roger Krege was arrested on multiple charges on Dec. 6, 2019, stemming from his alleged leak of sensitive information to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2014.

December 6, 2019

Roger Krege, a sergeant with the Sunrise Police Department, was arrested on multiple charges on Dec. 6, 2019, stemming from his alleged leak of sensitive information to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, law enforcement executed search warrants against Krege in August on the suspicion that in 2014 he provided the newspaper with a list of confidential informants used in dozens of drug cases, among other things.

In September 2014, the Sun-Sentinel published an investigation into police’s use of informants to lure “big-money” drug buyers into the city from across the country in order for officers to seize their money and vehicles once they were arrested. The report did not disclose the names of any informants, but did demonstrate that the newspaper knew the location of the department’s “Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics” unit, prompting the SPD to relocate the office.

Lt. Brian Katz told the Sun-Sentinel that this leak was particularly egregious because it jeopardized the safety of all involved.

“The exposure and illegal copying of the [list] put every confidential informant in grave danger and threatened the personal safety of every detective working in the Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics unit and working with the confidential informants,” Katz wrote in a statement to the outlet.

Krege was placed on unpaid administrative leave on Sept. 12, 2019, and charged on Dec. 6 with 10 counts, including disclosing confidential information, unlawful copying of an article containing trade secrets, theft and multiple counts of official misconduct, according to the Sun-Sentinel and WPLG Local 10 News.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the department’s press release about the arrest did not mention the newspaper, but did state that Krege is accused of obtaining and trading information on confidential informants using two email accounts.

Under Florida law, both “disclosure or use of confidential criminal justice information” and “theft of or trafficking in trade secrets” are third-degree felonies, punishable by a maximum of five years in prison. If convicted on all charges, Krege would face a maximum prison sentence of more than 50 years.

On March 3, 2021, prosecutors confirmed to the Sun-Sentinel that Krege agreed to plead no contest to a single charge of making a false official statement and six months’ probation in exchange for the other charges being dropped. As part of the deal, the charges will not show up as a conviction on Krege’s criminal record and allows him to keep his pension.

The 2018 police investigation into the media leak determined that Krege disclosed the identity of a confidential informant to his then-wife, Elizabeth Krege, in order for her to provide the information to a reporter, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].