Federal agent from Mesa loses job, pay for doing side gigs while on duty

Jan 25, 2023, 10:19 AM

(U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Photo)...

(U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Photo)

(U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Photo)

PHOENIX — A federal agent from Mesa lost his job and has to repay more than $130,000 in salary because he drove for Amazon, Uber and Lyft while on duty, authorities said Tuesday.

A U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix recently ordered Sean M. Nelson, 44, to pay $133,999 in restitution to the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release. He also was sentenced to two years of probation.

Nelson pleaded guilty to theft of government property in October 2022, agreeing to resign as a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations as part of the deal. HSI is the Department of Homeland Security’s principal investigative arm for global criminal enterprises and terrorist networks.

Prosecutors say Nelson used a government-owned vehicle on his unauthorized side gigs between November 2019 and October 2021.

“As a result of the conviction, Mr. Nelson has forfeited much of his salary during the time period of his on-the-job criminal activity, and as a federal felon he’ll never lawfully possess or use a firearm ever again,” U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino said in the release.

“His dereliction of duty was a grave disservice to his hard-working law enforcement colleagues and the taxpayers alike.”

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Federal agent from Mesa loses job, pay for doing side gigs while on duty