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Fort Smith protest ahead of FBI agent's sentencing for evidence destruction

The citizens protested outside the courthouse where a former FBI agent will be sentenced for evidence destruction in an Arkansas state senator's corruption case

FORT SMITH, Ark. — According to the United States Department of Justice, on Aug. 17, 2022, former FBI Special Agent Robert F. Cessario pleaded guilty to destroying evidence. 

Reportedly, Cessario erased the contents of his government computer hard drive knowing that a court had ordered the computer to be submitted for forensic examination, with the intent to impact the outcome of the findings.

The case that was being investigated was that of Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods, along with two co-defendants. Woods was accused and convicted of corruption-related charges, and has since sought retrials

Fort Smith citizens, enraged by the evidence of FBI corruption, are calling for justice from a federal judge who will be sentencing former FBI Special Agent Cessario. 

Outraged citizens gathered on Jan. 3 on the sidewalk in front of the Western District of Arkansas courthouse in Fort Smith. They called on Judge P.K. Holmes to reject the former agent’s proposed deal for his destruction of evidence. 

Cessario is scheduled to be sentenced by Holmes on Jan. 5, and Cessario is requesting that Holmes sentence him to just one year of unsupervised probation. Meanwhile, Woods has served four years of an 18-year sentence.

In 2020, an appeal for Woods sentence on the basis of the aforementioned evidence destruction was denied.

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