Former FBI Agent Seeking Probation After Admitting to Destroying Evidence

A former FBI agent is requesting that an Arkansas federal judge give him a year of probation after he pleaded guilty to destroying evidence while investigating a corruption case against Republican Arkansas State Sen. Jon Woods.

In August, the Department of Justice announced former FBI Special Agent Robert Cessario pleaded guilty in the Western District of Arkansas to erasing the contents of his government computer hard drive. Cessario was one of the agents who investigated Woods, who was convicted on 15 corruption-related charges and was sentenced to more than 18 years in federal prison in 2018.

The charge that Cessario pled guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. As part of the plea deal, Cessario’s defense team and the prosecution have both requested he receives probation. Cessario suggested the probationary period should be for one year.

A judge will ultimately determine Cessario’s sentence in court on Thursday. Both Cessario’s team and federal prosecutors estimated the sentencing hearing should take about an hour, with neither side planning to call witnesses or present testimony.

Cessario’s plea agreement states that he obtained recordings from a cooperating defendant as part of the federal prosecution against Woods in a corruption and money laundering case.

As questions arose in the case about how Cessario had obtained the audio recordings, the court ordered Cessario to submit his computer for a forensic examination on or about Dec. 4, 2017. Before submitting his computer to the forensic examination, Cessario instead took the device to a commercial computer business and paid the business to erase the contents of his computer’s hard drive.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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