BRADENTON, Fla. (FOX 13) - His smile could draw you in, but the Chief of the Bradenton Police Department says former Police Sgt. Lionel Marines was up to no good.
Last June, a complaint came to the Bradenton Police Department that Marines followed a woman home after a chance encounter. That complaint led to a disturbing discovery.
"It revealed several hundred questionable database queries of women during a specific time frame," said Chief of Police Melanie Bevan. "He betrayed the oath in which he swore to."
Chief Bevan said Marines used driver's license and vehicle registration records to track 150 women. She said his objective was to find women with whom he could go on dates - and he'd been doing it since 2012.
"He was very persistent and very successful, at times, in his attempts to do so... He was very creative in his manner and it wasn’t relegated to one specific source," said Chief Bevan.
According to Chief Bevan, most of the women he tracked were Hispanic.
"I have personally met with most of the women involved... in an effort to regain their trust... and also simply to tell them 'I’m sorry,'" she said.
Bradenton police have recently begun more frequent audits of police databases to make sure they're not being misused.
The FBI is now investigating the Marines case, but no charges have been filed.
Marines has resigned. Chief Bevan said she would have fired him if he hadn't.
"I realize it puts the Bradenton Police Department in a bad light, but it’s worth it to know that I took somebody who shouldn’t be on the street - off it," she said.
Chief Bevan wants others to take a look at Marines. She asked any other victims to come forward and contact the Tampa FBI Office at 813-253-1000.