- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2020

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former janitor at the FBI office in Little Rock was sentenced to more than three years in prison for taking a picture of a drug-trafficking chart and sharing it with one of the targets in the investigation.

Billy Wayne Smith, 63, was sentenced Wednesday. He had worked as a contract janitor at the federal agency for 17 years.

Smith told Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. he wasn’t trying to undercut his coworkers, just wanted to help a friend whose photograph he recognized on the chart.

Marshall sentenced Smith to 37 months in prison, with credit for the time he served since his arrest in August 2018, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He pleaded guilty last August to obstruction of justice.

The judge said “it’s a difficult matter because you have led a law-abiding life.” But Marshall added that he agreed with Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Peters that “this was a very serious crime that endangered other people.”

Marshall said trust is important among workers in an FBI office and agents can’t be looking over their shoulders in their own workplace.

According to court documents, FBI agents determined Smith had taken pictures of the investigation chart when the person who would lead them to determine the drug supplier contacted the FBI and told them he had seen a picture of the chart.

In exchange for leniency in charging decisions, the person set Smith up to say he had taken the picture on his cellphone.

When agents later interviewed Smith, he admitted to photographing the chart from an agent’s desk.

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