Skip to main content
Press Release

Air National Guardsman Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Disclosing Classified National Defense Information

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – Jack Douglas Teixeira, a member of the United States Air National Guard (USANG) stationed in Massachusetts, pleaded guilty today 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, 22, of North Dighton, Mass., pleaded guilty to six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information relating to the national defense before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani who deferred acceptance of the plea until sentencing on Sept. 27, 2024. If the court accepts the plea, Teixeira faces 132 to 200 months in prison.

Teixeira was arrested in April 2023 and charged by criminal complaint with retention and transmission of National Defense Information (NDI) 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 in federal custody since his arrest. 

“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 United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “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, Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira admitted to endangering our national security by unlawfully disclosing classified national defense information. In doing so, he betrayed his oath to defend his country. His actions are a stark contrast to the pledge he made in 2019 to uphold the Air Force’s core values: integrity first, service over self, and excellence in all we do. Instead, he chose integrity last, himself over service, and failed to uphold the finest standards of this military branch,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “The FBI takes all breaches of classified information seriously and we will use all the resources at our disposal to identify and apprehend those who jeopardize the safety of this country and its citizens.”

“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.”

“Retaining and transmitting classified information is a crime – and U.S. government employees are trusted to secure and protect that information,” said David Sundberg, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office. “To get to where we are today took the work of dozens of FBI employees, including special agents, intelligence analysts, and computer forensic examiners, who combed through and analyzed hundreds of documents and evidentiary items. The FBI and our partners across the globe are committed to identify and bring to justice those who make the choice to put our country at risk by publicly and recklessly disclosing classified information.”

Teixeira enlisted in the USANG in September 2019 and held a Top-Secret security clearance since 2021. Beginning in or around January 2022, Teixeira unlawfully retained and transmitted NDI classified as “TOP SECRET” or “SECRET” and/or Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), onto the social media platform Discord to persons not authorized to receive such information. 

According to the charging documents, Teixeira used secured workstation at the Otis USANG Base to conduct hundreds of searches for classified documents containing NDI that were unrelated to his duties as an Information Technology specialist. On two separate occasions, Teixeira was warned by his superiors to no longer take notes on classified intelligence information and to stop conducting “deep dives” into classified intelligence information. However, Teixeira purposefully removed classified information and documents containing NDI without authorization and subsequently transmitted the information in written paragraphs to other users on Discord. Teixeira also posted images of classified documents to Discord, which bore standard classification markings – including “SECRET,” “TOP SECRET” and SCI designations – indicating that they contained highly classified United States government information. 

Among the classified information Teixeira unlawfully transmitted was descriptions on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, including troop movements on a particular date based on sensitive U.S. intelligence, gathered through classified sources and methods and contains national defense information. 

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 Cohen; AAG Olsen; and AD Sundberg made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadine Pellegrini, Jared C. Dolan and Jason A. Casey of the U.S. Attorney’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. 

Updated March 4, 2024

National Security