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Phoenix aerospace expert facing charges for trying to sell info to cartel

(Flickr Photo/m01229)

PHOENIX — A former employee of Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix is facing charges for allegedly attempting to sell satellite tracking information to a Mexican drug cartel for millions of dollars.

The information in question is a computer login that would have given drug cartels access to the location of law enforcement and military officials in real time. But rather than selling it to cartels, Robert J. Miller unwittingly sold the information to undercover FBI agents.

According to the criminal court documents, Miller, 45, had hoped for a $5 million payday with the sale of information. As recently as last Friday, he had been in contact with FBI agents posing as buyers.

The probable cause filing showed he was arrested on computer fraud charges.

The documents said Miller, formerly a senior project management specialist at Honeywell, had been responsible for an unidentified company’s satellite tracking system.

He had been fired in February on an unrelated matter — Honeywell filed a civil lawsuit against Miller in Arizona District Court in March, accusing him of stealing trade secrets.

Although his main access sign-in had been deactivated, he was still able to get into the system using a secondary logon, Special Agent Steven Garbett said in the criminal filing.

The FBI searched Miller’s apartment near Fourth Avenue and Roosevelt Street in Phoenix and seized computers and hard drives.

Miller told authorities any information relating to the satellite company had been taken inadvertently.

Miller has a preliminary court hearing set for Friday.

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