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Probation For MOSLEM (ed. AI) Sergeant Who Misused Databases
By Tom Jackman
A Fairfax County police sergeant was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Alexandria to two years' probation for his admission that he checked police databases for someone who was the target of a federal terrorism case.
Sgt. Weiss Rasool, 31, initially faced up to six months in jail, but federal prosecutors urged U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry R. Poretz to consider as much as a year of jail time after Rasool took a lie-detector test last week and "was not fully compliant" with the test procedures. Prosecutors also said in a motion filed with the court that FBI agents "do not believe that he has been truthful."
Before sentencing, Rasool stood and wept as he admitted breaking the law.
"If I could turn back time, I would maybe do things different," he said. "It was an error in judgment. I never intended for things to turn out this way. I don't know what to say to you or anyone. . . . I admit I made errors of judgment. But I never intended to put anybody's life at risk."
The police sergeant said after the sentencing that he hopes to remain with the Fairfax department. A misdemeanor conviction does not automatically disqualify him from continuing with the force. Rasool remains on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Fairfax police said.
In June 2005, when federal agents had a Fairfax man under surveillance, the man apparently asked Rasool to check the license plates of three vehicles he thought were following him. Rasool's lawyer described the man as a member of Rasool's mosque.
According to court records, Rasool checked the databases and left the following voice-mail message for the man:
"Umm, as I told you, I can only tell you if it comes back to a person or not a person, and all three vehicles did not come back to an individual person. So, I just wanted to give you that much."
The three vehicles were undercover FBI vehicles, according to a letter from the FBI filed in court yesterday, and Rasool's message "likely alerted the subject of the FBI investigation which had a disruptive effect on the pending counterterrorism case." Prosecutors said the vehicles were listed with a leasing company, which an experienced officer might have known was an indicator of law enforcement vehicles.
1) Probation For Sergeant Who Misused Databases