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Press Release

Air National Guardsman Agrees to Plead Guilty to Unlawfully Disclosing Classified National Defense Information

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Jack Douglas Teixeira, 22, of North Dighton, Massachusetts, a member of the U.S. Air National Guard (USANG) stationed in Massachusetts, has agreed to plead guilty to retaining and transmitting classified National Defense Information on a social media platform beginning in or around 2022 and continuing until his arrest in April 2023.

Teixeira has agreed to plead guilty to six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information relating to the national defense (National Defense Information).

“By knowingly and improperly posting classified national defense information on a social media platform, Mr. Teixeira callously disregarded the national security of the United States and betrayed the trust of the American people he swore to protect,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “With today’s plea, the Department of Justice holds Mr. Teixeira accountable for his actions and makes clear the gravity of the responsibility to protect classified information and our national security.”

“Mr. Teixeira exploited his Top-Secret security clearance to share our nation’s secrets on a social media platform. He violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend and, in doing so, he undermined our national security and risked the safety of Americans serving overseas and our allies,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy for the District of Massachusetts. “Every instance of mishandling classified information weakens our defense and compromises our ability to thwart potential threats. We cannot afford to underestimate the gravity of this conduct; it has far-reaching consequences that transcend individual interests.”

“Today, Jack Teixeira admitted he retained and disclosed classified national security information, actions that benefit our nation’s adversaries and harm U.S. security,” said Executive Assistant Director Larissa L. Knapp of the FBI’s National Security Branch. “Individuals granted security clearances are entrusted with protecting our nation’s most sensitive secrets, and Teixeira knowingly betrayed that trust and put the country at risk. The FBI will continue to work with our partners to hold accountable anyone who would endanger our national security interests.”

Teixeira was arrested in April 2023 and charged by criminal complaint with retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials. He was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in June 2023. He has remained detained in federal custody since his arrest.

According to the charging documents, Teixeira enlisted in the USANG in September 2019 and has held a Top-Secret security clearance since 2021. It is alleged that, beginning in or around January 2022, Teixeira unlawfully retained and transmitted National Defense Information classified as “TOP SECRET” or “SECRET” and/or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), onto a social media platform to persons not authorized to receive such information.

Teixeira allegedly accessed classified documents containing National Defense Information from a classified workstation at the Otis USANG Base and transcribed and transmitted the information in written paragraphs to other users on the social media platform. Teixeira also allegedly posted images of classified documents to the social media platform, which bore standard classification markings – including “SECRET,” “TOP SECRET” and SCI designations – indicating that they contained highly classified U.S. government information.

The charges of unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information each carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI is investigating the case, with valuable assistance provided by Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadine Pellegrini, Jared C. Dolan and Jason A. Casey for the District of Massachusetts and Trial Attorney Christina A. Clark of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

Updated March 4, 2024

National Security
Press Release Number: 24-243