In 2369, Orton collaborated with a group of terrorists in a plot to steal trilithium from the USS Enterprise-D. He held most of the senior officers captive on the station, while his associates boarded the Enterprise-D. Claiming to be station staff preparing the ship for the baryon sweep, they tried draining the warp core of the trilithium resin, only to discover that Captain Jean-Luc Picard was still aboard. Orton was captured when Data used Geordi La Forge's VISOR to emit a hypersonic pulse which would render everyone but Data unconscious.
At some point before 2369, Orton's family chose to drop the prefix "Pel" from its surname. Before this point, the family name was Pel Orton, a name considered more noble-sounding. Data theorized that the recent Arkarian trend toward a more egalitarian society was partly responsible for this change. (TNG: "Starship Mine")