Men arrested breaking into Iowa courthouse claim they were hired to test alarm system


Iowa court officials have denied authorizing an overnight courthouse burglary after the arrest of two cybersecurity experts who said they were hired to break into the building.

Court administrators issued the denial after the arrest of Justin Wynn, 29, of Florida, and Gary Demercurio, 43, of Washington state, for burglarizing the Dallas County Courthouse in Adel around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Each was charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools, the Des Moines Register reported Thursday.

Mug shots for Gary Demercurio, left, and Justin Wynn.

Mug shots for Gary Demercurio, left, and Justin Wynn.
(Dallas County Jail via AP)

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The men told deputies they worked for the cybersecurity firm Coalfire and had been hired to test the courthouse alarm system and law enforcement’s response time, the paper reported.

The Iowa State Court Administration said in a statement that Coalfire was under contract to test the vulnerability of state court records.

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“SCA did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include forced entry into a building,” the statement said, according to KCCI-TV.

The station reported that Coalfire said it could not comment on the arrests because it was an active legal matter.

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Court records said the two men tripped an alarm, the Register reported. They were discovered walking around on the courthouse’s third floor.



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