Grand jury indicts former NSA contractor accused of stealing classified information

Grand jury indicts former NSA contractor accused of stealing classified information
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A federal grand jury on Wednesday issued an indictment of a former National Security Agency contractor accused of stealing thousands of pages of classified documents.

Herald Thomas Martin III, 52, was charged with 20 counts of “willful retention of national defense information,” according to a statement released by the Justice Department shortly after the indictment was returned.

Martin worked at the NSA between 2012 and 2015 while he was an employee at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. The indictment alleges that Martin had been stealing and maintaining mounds of highly classified information starting as early as 1996 until his arrest last August.

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“As a private contractor who worked on classified programs at various U.S. government agencies, the defendant was entrusted with access to sensitive government materials," acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said in the Justice statement.

“Martin allegedly violated the trust our nation put in him by stealing and retaining classified documents and other material relating to the national defense,” she continued.

In October, the government charged Martin with felony theft of government property and unauthorized removal and misdemeanor retention of classified materials. But the indictment on Wednesday handed down charges of willful retention of national defense information, a violation of the Espionage Act.

Martin has been detained since August and is scheduled for his first court appearance on Tuesday.