FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
December 15, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER MARYLAND NSA EMPLOYEE CONVICTED
OF WRONGFULLY POSSESSING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
Greenbelt, Maryland - United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher announce that today a federal jury convicted Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr., age 34, of Waldorf, Maryland, on charges of unlawfully possessing classified information related to the national defense, and making a false statement to a U.S. government agency.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “When government employees are trusted with access to classified documents, they are obligated to protect that information and preserve our national security.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Ford was employed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland between June 2001 and late 2003. On January 11, 2004, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Ford’s residence in Waldorf, Maryland and discovered sensitive classified information throughout his house, including numerous Top Secret documents in 2 boxes in Ford’s kitchen. Ford was arrested on January 12, 2004.
Evidence presented during the trial indicated that Ford took home the classified information on the last day of his employment at NSA in December 2003, when Ford was to start working in the private sector on a classified contract for a defense contractor. Ford also wrote out a statement on the night the search was conducted, admitting to taking home the documents, but at trial argued that the statement had been coerced by the FBI. Witnesses from both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency testified that the classified documents, some of which were displayed to the jury in edited form, were extremely sensitive and related to the national defense of the United States. Though there was conflicting evidence of what Ford intended to do with the classified information, the jury’s verdict demonstrates that it was satisfied that Ford had unauthorized possession of the information.
Moreover, testimony at trial showed that on October 5, 2004, Ford made a false statement in connection with his submission to Lockheed Martin of a government clearance form known as a Standard Form 86. Ford stated on that form that he had been falsely arrested by the FBI, had no police record and no pending charges against him. In addition to establishing that Ford had been arrested on January 12, 2004, the evidence at trial indicated that a federal magistrate judge had informed Ford as late as August 25, 2004 that he was to inform any prospective employer of “the pending charges” so the employer could determine whether Ford could have access to classified documents.
“The National Security Agency relies on the honesty and integrity of its employees to maintain the security of its classified information. Those who break that trust must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, ” according to a spokesperson from NSA’s General Counsel’s Office. “As a part of our intelligence missions, we are responsible for protecting the nation’s most sensitive information.”
Ford faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment for possession of classified information, and five years imprisonment for making a false statement. He also faces a fine of $250,000 for each charge. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for
March 1, 2006 at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rosenstein commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work on this case. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney David I. Salem, and Mariclaire Rourke, a trial attorney from the Counterespionage Section of the Department of Justice, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJanuary 30, 2006