Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Obstructing Child Pornography Investigation

CAMDEN – A former Pennsville police officer today admitted obstructing the FBI’s investigation of his alleged possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Robert Waterman, 31, of Wrightstown, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to one count of obstruction of a federal investigation in connection with his destruction of a computer hard drive.

According to the indictment and statements made in court:

Waterman was formerly a police officer with the Pennsville Police Department. On March 4, 2010, while he was still a member of that department, FBI special agents told Waterman that he was being investigated for alleged possession of child pornography. During the plea hearing, Waterman admitted that following this interview with the FBI, he located a hard drive in his garage and placed it in his patrol car. Waterman admitted that he then broke apart the hard drive’s green printed circuit board into small pieces while in his patrol car at the police department. Waterman admitted he did this to obstruct the FBI’s investigation.

The obstruction count to which Waterman pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled sentencing for April 18. Waterman remains released on a personal recognizance bond of $100,000.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Brosnan in Philadelphia with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. Fishman also thanked the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor John T. Lenahan, and officers of the Pennsville Police Department, for their cooperation and assistance with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Skahill and Amy Luria of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.

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