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Former Cardinals executive pleads guilty to illegally accessing Astros’ database

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HOUSTON, TX (KTVI)-Chris Correa, the St. Louis Cardinals scouting director who was fired in July 2015 for his alleged role in hacking a Houston Astros database, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges.

Correa, 35, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Houston to five counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer. Each conviction carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

The Astros operate a private online database called Ground Control that houses information like scouting reports, statistics, and contract information.  Ground Control and Astros employee e‑mail accounts could only be accessed via password-protected accounts. In his plea agreement, Correa admitted that from March 2013 through at least March 2014, he accessed the Ground Control and/or e-mail accounts of others to gain access to Astros system.

Correa was hired on a contract basis in 2009 to work with Jeff Luhnow. Luhnow was the amateur scouting and farm director, but left the team to become the Astros general manager in 2011.

No one else in the Cardinals organization is facing charges.

Major League Baseball issued the following statement today regarding the indictment of former St. Louis Cardinals official Chris Correa:

“Major League Baseball appreciates the efforts of federal law enforcement authorities in investigating the illegal breach of the Astros’ baseball operations database, and identifying the perpetrator of this crime. We anticipate that the authorities will share with us the results of their investigation at the appropriate time, and we will determine what further actions to take after receiving all the relevant information.”

The St. Louis Cardinals issued this statement about the charges:

"Because the court proceedings in this matter will not be completed until Mr. Correa’s sentencing, we have been advised that it would be inappropriate to comment at this time."