- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 4, 2018

A former U.S. government contractor accused of hoarding two decades’ worth of classified documents will plead guilty to a single count of willfully retaining national defense information, resolving one of 20 felony charges he currently faces involving the theft of sensitive National Security Agency materials.

Harold T. Martin III, 53, is expected to plead guilty this month to taking a classified NSA document subsequently recovered during an August 2016 raid of his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland, the Department of Justice revealed in court filings Wednesday.

Mr. Martin is slated to enter the plea in a federal courtroom in Baltimore before U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Garbis on Jan. 22, and he could receive up to 10 years behind bars when he’s sentenced at a later date, the filings said.

The plea doesn’t resolve any of the remaining 19 felony charges against him. Federal prosecutors have agreed to delay sentencing until working through the rest of the charges.

Authorities said they found 50 terabytes of data during the August 2016 search of Mr. Martin’s residence, including a “vast quantity” of hard copies and digital versions of classified and closely held documents amassed during his career as a contractor with access to national defense information from the NSA, the U.S. Cyber Command, the National Reconnaissance Office and the CIA.

(One terabyte of CD-quality audio recordings equals about 2,000 hours of material. Additionally, one terabyte of data would fill 212 DVDs or 40 single-sided Blu-ray discs.)

The single charge to which Mr. Martin is to plead guilty relates to a specific document described by the Justice Department in court filings as “a March 2014 NSA leadership briefing outlining the development and future plans for a specific NSA organization.”

“The information contained within this document related to United States military and naval establishments and related activities of national preparedness, as well as the defense of the United States against its enemies,” federal prosecutors wrote in the filing.

An attorney for Mr. Martin did not return a message seeking comment.

However, his attorneys have likened his behavior that of a “compulsive hoarder,” saying Mr. Martin took documents home in order to study them to improve his job performance.

They have said there is no indication that he shared the information with anyone, and the indictment makes no such claim.

Mr. Martin served in the Navy from 1988 through 1992, and in the Navy Reserve through 2000, according to the court filing. He worked for at least seven different private contractors between 1993 and 2016, and he has held security clearances up to “Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information,” the filing said.

He was working for Booz Allen Hamilton when he was taken into custody in 2016 and has been held without bail ever since.


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