Dominick Pelletier of DeKalb, Ill., had heard that it was best to tell the truth in applying for the job.
Back in 2008, he applied for a position as an intelligence analyst with the FBI. As part of the application process, he submitted to a polygraph test in the FBI’s Chicago office, as Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, recounted in a news release, earlier this year.
In an interview after the test, Pelletier said he thought he might have had trouble with a question about child pornography. It seems he had some child porn on his home computer. So, some FBI agents said, perhaps we could check out your computer. Go ahead, Pelletier apparently said.
Bad decision. Indeed, Pelletier’s computer contained some 600 incriminating images, as Tickle the Wire reported. Not to worry, Pelletier said. The stuff is in connection with “research” I’m doing on sexual abuse in Indonesia. The explanation didn’t fly, and last January, Pelletier, then 34, was sentenced to 6 years 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.
Pelletier then claimed he’d been set up because the agents hadn’t read him his Miranda rights. Too bad, prosecutors said. Pelletier wasn’t in custody when he made his damaging admissions, so Miranda didn’t apply.
“Indeed, it seems that Pelletier left the interview room believing he was still in the running for an FBI job,” Judge Michael Kanne wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Pelletier was wrong. He wasn’t cut out for the FBI anyhow.