A former National Security Agency contractor—who stole an enormous amount of sensitive information from the agency and then stored it at his home and car for over two decades—today changed his plea to guilty.The theft was labeled as the largest heist of classified government material in America’s history.Harold Thomas Martin III, a 54-year-old Navy veteran from Glen Burnie, abused his top-secret security clearances to stole at least 50 terabytes of classified national defense data from government computers over two decades while working for a number of NSA departments between 1996 and 2016.In August 2016, the FBI arrested Martin at his Maryland home and found “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of documents, many of which were marked “Secret” and “Top Secret,” in his home and car.
At the time of his arrest in August 2016, Martin also worked for Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp, the same company that previously employed Edward Snowden that also stole and leaked classified NSA documents to the public in 2013.Martin Pleads Guilty to Just 1 Count, Other 19 Charges Dropped
Martin was initially charged with 20 counts of violating the Espionage Act, but he pleaded not guilty at that time and was due to go to trial in June this year.After the prosecutors announced earlier this week that Martin would be arraigned again, he admitted the wrongdoing in a federal district court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to a single charge of willful retention of defense information as part of a plea deal.In return, federal prosecutors dropped the remaining 19 charges against Martin and recommended a 9-year prison sentence and three years of supervised release.The Department of Justice also proposed that after serving his sentence, Martin should be forbidden from contacting any foreign person, probably because he was also accused of leaking classified data to Russia, China, …

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