Air guardsman suspected of leaking U.S. secrets to remain in jail for now

Air guardsman suspected of leaking U.S. secrets to remain in jail for now

FILE PHOTO: An undated picture shows Jack Douglas Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the U.S. Air National Guard, who was arrested by the FBI, over his alleged involvement in leaks online of classified documents, posing for a selfie at an unidentified loca

By Tim McLaughlin and Sarah N. Lynch

BOSTON (Reuters) – A 21-year-old member of the U.S. Air National Guard who is facing criminal charges for leaking top-secret military intelligence records online will remain in jail for now, according to court filings.

Jack Douglas Teixeira of North Dighton, Massachusetts, was due to appear in a federal court in Boston on Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether he would remain jailed pending trial after federal prosecutors in the case told U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy they intended to seek detention.

About two hours before the hearing, however, Teixeira’s team of federal public defenders filed a request asking the judge to delay the detention hearing for two weeks because they needed “more time to address the issues presented by the government’s request for detention.”

It remains to be seen whether Teixeira will opt to challenge the government’s detention request or not.

Teixeira appeared very briefly in court on Wednesday, wearing an orange jumpsuit, where the judge accepted his request to waive his right to a preliminary hearing.

Teixeira was arrested last Thursday at his home by heavily armed FBI agents without incident.

The leaked documents at the heart of the case are believed to be the most serious U.S. security breach since more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2010. The Pentagon has called the leak a “deliberate, criminal act.”

A criminal complaint made public on Friday charges Teixeira with one count of violating the Espionage Act related to the unlawful copying and transmitting of sensitive defense material, and a second charge related to the unlawful removal of defense material to an unauthorized location.

Legal experts expect he will likely face more charges down the road as additional evidence is presented over time to a grand jury.

A conviction on the Espionage Act charge carries up to 10 years in prison.


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