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Guilty plea in governor's hacked email case

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm •  Published: June 16, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez's former campaign manager pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts in a case that accused him of intercepting her email.

As part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, Jamie Estrada agreed to plead guilty to one count of unlawful interception of electronic communication and one count of lying to FBI agents.

The 41-year-old previously pleaded not guilty to charges of intercepting email in the campaign account and making false statements to federal investigators. He had faced a dozen felony charges of intercepting email and four charges of making false statements to federal agents during their investigation.

"When an individual sends out an email, that individual has a right to expect that email will remain private," U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez said after the agreement was announced. He would not say if more indictments would come down in the case.

Estrada and his attorney, Zach Ives, declined to comment.

Estrada briefly served as campaign manager in 2009 as Martinez, a Republican, was starting her bid for New Mexico governor. An FBI affidavit in the case says he was fired, but Estrada says he left the campaign to run for a seat on the Public Regulation Commission.

Prosecutors alleged that Estrada used password and username information to change the computer account for the governor's 2010 campaign organization after Martinez took office as governor.

Electronic messages sent through the campaign email system by Martinez and her aides were directed to a computer account controlled by Estrada, according to the indictment.

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