BOSTON – A member of the United States Air National Guard (USANG) stationed in Massachusetts has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston for allegedly 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.
Jack Douglas Teixeira, 21, of North Dighton, Mass., was indicted on six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information relating to the national defense (National Defense Information). Teixeira was arrested on April 13, 2023 and charged by criminal complaint with retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials. On May 19, 2023, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy granted the government’s motion for detention. Teixeira remains federal custody.
“The unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified information jeopardizes our nation’s security. Individuals granted access to classified materials have a fundamental duty to safeguard the information for the safety of the United States, our active service members, its citizens and its allies,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “We are committed to ensuring that those entrusted with sensitive national security information adhere to the law.”
“The American people entrust security clearance holders with our nation’s secrets, and anyone who flagrantly violates their duty to protect those secrets by unlawfully communicating classified national defense information to people who are not entitled to receive it will be brought to justice to answer for their criminal conduct,” said Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division.
“As laid out in the indictment, Jack Teixeira was entrusted by the United States government with access to classified national defense information — including information that reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if shared,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Teixeira is charged with sharing information with users on a social media platform he knew were not entitled to receive it. In doing so, he is alleged to have violated U.S. law and endangered our national security.”
“Individuals granted security clearances are entrusted to protect classified information and safeguard our nation’s secrets. The allegations in today’s indictment reveal a serious violation of that trust,” said Christopher A. Wray, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The FBI and our partners remain firm in our commitment to hold accountable those who endanger our national security and the security of our allies around the world.”
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 willfully, improperly and unlawfully retained and transmitted National Defense Information classified as “TOP SECRET” or “SECRET” and/or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), which he had reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, on a social media platform to persons not authorized to receive such information.
According to the charging documents, Teixeira transmitted the classified National Defense Information on the social media platform in two ways. First, 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 United States government information. At least one of the documents containing national defense information was allegedly found in digital form in a particular account associated with Teixeira.
The charges of unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; FBI SAC DiMenna; Attorney General Garland; FBI Director Wray; Matt Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division; and David Sundberg, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the 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 of Levy’s National Security Unit and Trial Attorney Christina A. Clark of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.