Former FBI Analyst Pleads Guilty to Retaining National Defense Documents
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Defendant Kept Hundreds of Classified Documents at Her Home
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former analyst with the Kansas City Division of the FBI pleaded guilty in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to two counts of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense in her North Kansas City, Mo., residence.
According to court documents, Kendra Kingsbury, 50, of Kansas City, Missouri, was an intelligence analyst for the FBI for more than 12 years, from 2004 to Dec. 15, 2017. Kingsbury was assigned to a sequence of different FBI squads, each of which had a particular focus, such as illegal drug trafficking, violent crime, violent gangs, and counterintelligence. Kingsbury held a TOP SECRET//SCI security clearance and had access to national defense and classified information.
Training presentations and materials specifically warned Kingsbury that she was prohibited from retaining classified information at her personal residence. Such information could only be stored in an approved facility and container.
By pleading guilty today, Kingsbury admitted that, over the course of her FBI employment, she repeatedly removed from the FBI and retained in her personal residence an abundance of sensitive government materials, including classified documents related to the national defense. In total, Kingsbury improperly removed and unlawfully and willfully retained approximately 386 classified documents in her personal residence. The documents retained by Kingsbury in her personal residence included documents in electronic format on hard drives, compact discs, and other storage media.
The national defense information that Kingsbury unlawfully retained included numerous documents classified at the SECRET level from the FBI that describe intelligence sources and methods related to U.S. government efforts related to counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and defending against cyber threats. These documents included details on the FBI’s nationwide objectives and priorities, including specific investigations across multiple field offices that were open at the time Kingsbury unlawfully retained the documents. In addition, Kingsbury retained documents relating to sensitive human-source operations in national security investigations, intelligence gaps regarding hostile foreign intelligence services and terrorist organizations, and the technical capabilities of the FBI against counterintelligence and counterterrorism targets.
The national defense information that Kingsbury unlawfully retained also included numerous documents classified at the SECRET level from another government agency. These documents described intelligence sources and methods related to U.S. government efforts to collect intelligence on terrorist groups. The documents included information about al Qaeda members on the African continent, including a suspected associate of Usama bin Laden. In addition, there were documents regarding the activities of emerging terrorists and their efforts to establish themselves in support of al Qaeda in Africa.
Kingsbury specifically admitted that she knew 20 of these documents were classified, contained national defense information, and that she did not have a “need to know” the information contained in the documents. Kingsbury knew that information in these documents could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of foreign nations. Kingsbury was not authorized to possess these documents in her personal residence and her personal residence was not a location authorized to store classified information.
Kingsbury faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Moore for the Western District of Missouri and Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division made the announcement.
The FBI Omaha Field Office is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Edwards and David Raskin for the Western District of Missouri and Trial Attorney Scott Claffee of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.
Updated June 13, 2023