BOSTON (WBSM) — A United States Air National Guard member from Dighton pleaded guilty today to retaining and transmitting classified national defense information on a social media platform.

Jack Teixeira, 22, pleaded guilty to six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information relating to the national defense.

The plea was deferred until September 27, 2024. If the court accepts the plea, Teixeira faces 132 to 200 months in prison.

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Teixeira enlisted in the USANG in September 2019 and held a Top Secret security clearance since 2021. According to the charging documents, Teixeira used a secured workstation at the Otis USANG Base to conduct hundreds of searches for classified documents containing NDI unrelated to his duties as an Information Technology specialist.

On two separate occasions, Teixeira was warned by his superiors to no longer take notes on classified intelligence information and to stop conducting "deep dives" into classified intelligence information.

Prosecutors say Teixeira purposefully removed classified information and documents containing NDI without authorization and subsequently transmitted the information to other users on Discord. Teixeira also posted images of classified documents to Discord.

Among the classified information Teixeira unlawfully transmitted were descriptions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, including troop movements on a particular date based on sensitive U.S. intelligence, gathered through classified sources and methods and containing national defense information.

Teixeira was arrested in April 2023 and charged by criminal complaint with retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials.

A federal grand jury in Boston indicted him in June 2023. He has remained in federal custody since his arrest.

He originally pleaded not guilty but changed that plea today.

"Today, Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira admitted to endangering our national security by unlawfully disclosing classified national defense information. In doing so, he betrayed his oath to defend his country," said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division.

"His actions are a stark contrast to the pledge he made in 2019 to uphold the Air Force's core values: integrity first, service over self, and excellence in all we do," she said. "Instead, he chose integrity last, himself over service, and failed to uphold the finest standards of this military branch,"

"The FBI takes all breaches of classified information seriously and we will use all the resources at our disposal to identify and apprehend those who jeopardize the safety of this country and its citizens," Cohen said.

The charges provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

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