A former CIA contractor was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail for unauthorized retention of classified materials at a hearing that shed little light on his motives.
Reynaldo Regis, 54, of Fort Washington, Maryland, had been seeking probation at his sentencing hearing in federal court in Alexandria. His lawyers pointed to probation sentences received by retired Gen. David Petraeus and former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger in their high-profile document retention cases.
Even prosecutors were not insisting on jail time. They said they would be satisfied with a sentence within federal sentencing guidelines, which called for zero to six months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady expressed some frustration about the lack of answers on motive and imposed a 90-day sentence. He said he felt the guidelines were not sufficiently severe for this type of crime.
Regis apologized for his actions but offered no reason for his crime. He worked as a government contractor assigned to the CIA between 2006 and 2016. He admitted copying classified information into dozens of personal notebooks and conducting unauthorized searches of classified databases.
According to court documents, FBI agents found 60 notebooks containing classified information when they searched his home.
Regis' defense lawyer, Cary Citronberg, said after Friday's hearing that his client "had no nefarious purpose. It was just a mistake."
Citronberg said he was disappointed in the sentence, especially given the comparison to Petraeus and Berger.
During the hearing, prosecutor Danya Atiyeh took issue with the notion that high-profile defendants get special consideration.
"The government sees a lot of these cases and we go where the facts take us," Atiyeh said.
She declined to speculate on Regis' motive after O'Grady indicated it was "the 64-dollar question" that remained unanswered.
"I'm not sure I can fairly speculate as to what was going on in the defendant's head," she said.