After news broke on Thursday that Reuters Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys had been indicted for allegedly providing Anonymous hackers with access to the website of the Los Angeles Times, Keys tweeted, “I found out the same way most of you did: From Twitter.” However, it seems the prolific tweeter has known that he was under investigation for at least several months. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller has confirmed to Daily Intelligencer that the agency executed a search warrant on Keys’s home in Secaucus, New Jersey in early October 2012.
Eimiller said evidence related to the case was seized during the search, although she could not comment on the specific items recovered. The filing for the search warrant was accompanied by an affidavit submitted by agent Gabriel Andrews, an investigator in the FBI’s L.A. Office, as first reported by Reuters. The investigation included agents from the FBI’s offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and New Jersey, where Keys currently resides. Keys lived and worked in Sacramento during the time of the alleged hacking in 2010.
The federal charges against Keys allege that when he was a web producer at the Sacramento FOX affiliate, he gave Anonymous hackers the log-in information for Tribune Company’s content management system. This allowed them to alter the website of at least one major property, the Los Angeles Times. Several years after leaving the station, Keys moved to the New York area to begin his current job as deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters, where he has worked since early 2012. Keys faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and fines up to $750,000 if convicted on all charges.