Ex-CIA contractor pleads guilty to copying 'highly sensitive intelligence reports'

Ex-CIA contractor pleads guilty to copying 'highly sensitive intelligence reports'
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A former CIA contractor on Friday pleaded guilty to improperly removing and retaining classified materials, and then later lying to federal law enforcement officers about these unauthorized actions, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia say Reynaldo Regis searched classified databases without authorization during the time he worked as a contractor for the spy agency, between August 2006 and November 2016. He then copied the information into his personal notebooks and brought it to his house. 

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"During a search of his home, FBI agents recovered approximately 60 notebooks containing classified information. The classified information contained in the notebooks included information relating to highly sensitive intelligence reports, disclosure of which could cause serious damage to the national security," the Justice Department said.

Regis then lied during an interview with federal investigators about improperly handling classified materials.

It is unclear what his motives were for taking the information.

“Mr. Regis is a decent man who has served his country for many years with distinction," Regis's attorney, John Zwerling, told Reuters during a phone interview.

“He made a mistake — a serious mistake. He has acknowledged it, he has pled guilty, he has accepted responsibility and he is now a convicted felon because of this mistake. He needs and wants to do what he can to move on with his life,” Zwerling continued.

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea of Regis, a 53-year-old from Fort Washington, Md. 

Regis, who could face a maximum prison sentence of five years, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21.