On August 17, Former FBI Special Agent Robert Cessario signed a plea agreement in which he admitted to paying a business to permanently erase data from his hard drive so that forensic examiners could not analyze its contents. The wiped data was relevant to the corruption trial of former Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods, who was convicted of mail and wire fraud in 2018.
Cessario admitted in the plea agreement that he had erased the contents of the hard drive while being fully aware that a court had ordered the laptop to be submitted to an FBI field office in Little Rock for forensic examination. Also in the plea agreement, Cessario admitted that he intended to make “the contents of the computer’s hard unavailable for forensic examination.”
In addition, the former FBI special agent stated that he knew “the contents of the hard drive were relevant to an official proceeding, that is, Cause No. 5:17-CR-50010, United States v. Woods et al.”
According to KATV, Cessario was facing charges of “corrupt destruction of record in an official proceeding.” He could face up to 20 years in federal prison.