A New Jersey mayor and his 22-year-old son were arrested Thursday for allegedly hacking into an e-mail account and website set up in an effort to recall him.
West New York Mayor Felix Roque, 55, and his 22-year-old son Joseph Roque allegedly worked together to take down RecallRoque.com by hacking into an associated email account.
The feds said that “Victim 1,” a resident and government official in the county, anonymously established and moderated RecallRoque.com in early February. The Democratic mayor and his son, along with an unnamed conspirator allegedly began plotting to harass whoever was behind the website.
Joseph Roque was allegedly able to successfully hack into an email account associated with the website and had GoDaddy.com take the site down because of his unauthorized access to the email account. Mayor Roque allegedly soon called up several victims to tell them he knew they were involved in the website. Roque allegedly threatened to refer at least one victim to the IRS for audits.
He allegedly reminded one victim he was in the Army and falsely told another that a government spook helped him take down the website, saying “a friend of mine he works in the — I can’t tell you — three letters — CIA. You know. That’s how I get information. So, what I’m doing is not very kosher.”
Meeting with two other public officials in his medical office, Roque allegedly said they needed to “go after” any West New York employees opposed to him.
In Joseph Roque’s interview with the FBI on March 22, he took responsibility for hacking the website but claimed his father didn’t know about it. When officials told him they had his father’s cell phone records, Joseph Roque allegedly looked towards the ceiling and “appeared to mouth the words ‘Oh, Fuck,’” according to an FBI affidavit.
Roque allegedly told law enforcement officers on March 22 that his son should go to jail if he did something wrong but denied instructing Joseph to hack the website. The elder Roque allegedly said he would be fine going to jail because he had “lived the dream” and would be able to work out and read in prison.