NSA Contractor Accused of Taking Classified Information - NBC 7 San Diego
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NSA Contractor Accused of Taking Classified Information



    NBC4's Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler talk to NBC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pete Williams about Harold Martin III, a government contractor arrested in August, and the classified information he has been accused of stealing. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016)

    A government contractor with a top secret security clearance is accused of illegally removed highly classified information and storing it in his house and car, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

    Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was arrested in August, the Justice Department said. He was a contractor with the federal government.

    According to an affidavit, authorities searched Martin's home, vehicle and two storage sheds Aug. 27, and found documents and digital information on devices and removable digital media.

    Among the classified documents found, the government says, were six that contained sensitive intelligence, meaning they were produced through sensitive government sources or methods that are critical to national security issues. They were produced by a government agency in 2014.

    All the documents were clearly marked as classified, according to the criminal complaint.

    Investigators also found stolen property valued at more than $1,000 at Martin's home or vehicle. 

    "Martin at first denied, and later when confronted with specific documents, admitted he took documents and digital files from his work assignment to his residence and vehicle that he knew were classified," despite the fact that he didn't have the authorization to do so, according to the complaint.

    Martin was arrested, and made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Aug. 29. He remains in custody.

    It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney, and a message left at a home telephone number listed for Martin was not immediately returned on Wednesday.

    Speaking at a cybersecurity panel, the Justice Department's top national security official, John Carlin, confirmed the arrest of "an individual who's involved in taking classified information."

    He said the arrest generally pointed to the threat posed by insiders.

    Martin is charged with unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, which carries a maximum one-year sentence, and theft of government property, an offense punishable by up to 10 years.