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Press Release

Local Air Force Veteran Arrested For Disclosing Sensitive Information Related To National Defense

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

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Paul J. Freeman, 68, of Niceville, Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury charging him with unauthorized possession and transmission of classified national defense information. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the charges today after Freeman made his initial appearance in federal court in Pensacola, Florida.

As alleged in the indictment, Freeman, on multiple occasions between November 2020 and March 2021, transmitted classified national defense information about United States Air Force aircraft and weapons to people not authorized to access the information. 

A detention hearing has been set for July 1, 2024, at 1:00 p.m., at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola before the Honorable United States Magistrate Judge Zachary Bolitho.

If convicted, Freeman faces up to a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment on each of the nine counts in the indictment.

The United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg for the Northern District of Florida, Senior Trial Attorney Heather M. Schmidt, and Trial Attorney Yifei Zheng of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845
X: @NDFLnews

Updated June 27, 2024

National Security