09262017Headline:

NSA contractor charged with stealing top secret documents

A 51-year-old Maryland man who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) has been arrested and charged after he allegedly stole top secret information, which reportedly includes highly classified computer software.

Harold Thomas Martin III was arrested on August 27 after search warrants were executed on his vehicle and at his residence in Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County. Investigators located various items that contained classified information, officials revealed on Wednesday.

"During execution of the warrants, investigators located hard-copy documents and digital information stored on various devices and removable digital media," the Justice Department said. "A large percentage of the materials recovered from Martin’s residence and vehicle bore markings indicating that they were property of the U.S. government and contained highly classified information."

The stolen material includes documents that were marked Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), prosecutors allege. Investigators also located government property valued at more than $1,000 that Martin had allegedly stolen.

Specific details about the stolen documents were not immediately released, and prosecutors have not said why Martin took the documents or if he shared the information with any third parties.

A criminal complaint unsealed on Wednesday said the material stolen by Martin includes 6 classified documents that were obtained from "sensitive intelligence" and were produced by a government agency in 2014. The documents in question remain classified at the Top Secret level.

"These documents were produced through sensitive government sources, methods and capabilities, which are critical to a wide variety of national security issues," the justice department said. "The disclosure of the documents would reveal those sensitive sources, methods and capabilities."

The stolen information may include highly classified "source code" that was developed by the NSA to break into computer systems of foreign governments such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, according to the New York Times. But some of the stolen information is believed to be dated, it said.

Martin, who remains in custody, has been charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials. If convicted, Martin faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials and 10 years in prison for theft of government property.

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