Wisconsin Woman Sentenced for Role in Office Burglary of a U.S. Senator
A former staff member who worked in an office of a United States Senator was sentenced today to two years of supervised probation with 200 hours of community service for burglary of the office of a U.S. Senator.
The announcement was made by Alessio D. Evangelista, the Acting U.S. Attorney in this case, and Steven A. Sund, Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Samantha DeForest Davis, 24, of Beloit, Wisconsin, pled guilty to the federal charge of aiding and abetting computer fraud, and to the District of Columbia charge of attempted tampering with evidence on July 30, 2019. DeForest Davis was sentenced today on two separate counts to a total of 180 days in prison, execution of sentence suspended, and placed on two years of supervised probation. As part of her conditions of probation, she was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, stay away from the Senator’s office to include current and former staff, and to not use TOR or anonymized computer applications.
According to the government’s evidence, DeForest Davis was a staffer employed by a U.S. Senator, and was also friends with Jackson Cosko, a former staffer for that same U.S. Senator who had been fired in May 2018. Between July and October 2018, Cosko began burglarizing the Senator’s office, illegally accessing Senate computers, and stealing information from those computers. By August 2018, DeForest Davis started to suspect that Cosko was breaking into the Senator’s office and stealing information from Senate computers, but DeForest Davis did not report Cosko. Finally, on the night of October 2, 2018, DeForest Davis agreed to lend Cosko her keys to the Senator’s office. When she provided her keys, DeForest Davis understood that Cosko needed the keys to unlawfully enter the Senator’s office to access Senate computers.
Cosko used DeForest Davis’s keys to break into the Senator’s office that night, and during the break-in, Cosko illegally accessed a Senate computer for the purpose of obtaining information. However, during the break-in, a witness noticed and recognized Cosko in the office. Cosko fled, but the witness reported the break-in to U.S. Capitol Police.
The following morning, on October 3, 2018, Cosko returned DeForest Davis’s keys and asked DeForest Davis to “wipe down” the computers, keyboards, and computer mice in the Senator’s office, in the hope that DeForest Davis could thereby destroy any latent fingerprints and other evidence of Cosko’s burglary. DeForest Davis, knowing that Cosko had unlawfully entered the office the night before, did attempt to wipe down the computers, but was unsuccessful because another employee entered the office early.
As part of her plea, DeForest Davis acknowledged that she lied to her employer and the U.S. Capitol Police on several occasions during the investigation.
Cosko pled guilty to his role in the criminal activity on April 5, 2019. On June 27, 2019, he was sentenced by Judge Thomas F. Hogan to 48 months in prison.
In announcing the sentence, Acting U.S. Attorney Evangelista and Chief Sund commended the work of those who worked on the case. The U.S. Capitol Police investigated the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Diane Brashears and Donna Galindo and Victim/Witness Advocate Yvonne Bryant and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tejpal S. Chawla, Demian S. Ahn, and Youli Lee who prosecuted the case.