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Contractor Faces Maximum 200-year Sentence for Hoarding Defense Docs

A former government contractor could spend the rest of his life behind bars if found guilty of hoarding top secret defense documents over a 20-year period.

Harold Thomas Martin, 52, worked for at least seven different companies including Edward Snowden’s former employer Booz Allen Hamilton in jobs at several government agencies such as the NSA.

Taken into custody last August, he is accused in an indictment issued on Wednesday of stealing and retaining top secret documents “relating to the national defense at his residence and in his vehicle.”

He now faces a maximum 10-year stretch for each of the 20 counts of “willful retention of national defense information” against him.

Curiously, there’s no information on exactly why Martin might have hoarded the data over such a long period.

However, the indictment lists numerous top secret documents he obtained illegally from the NSA, US Cyber Command, CIA and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

These include a user guide for an NSA “intelligence gathering tool” and US Cyber Command documents containing information about the capabilities, targets and gaps in capability of the US military.

All would be highly prized by foreign powers.

An official told the New York Times when the news broke last year that Martin didn’t fit the typical profile for someone accused of pilfering state secrets as he wasn’t an outspoken critic of US surveillance like Snowden.

In fact, Martin is said to have served in the US Navy for several years before beginning his employment as a government contractor in 1993, and stayed on as a Naval Reserve until 2000.

“As a private contractor who worked on classified programs at various US government agencies, the defendant was entrusted with access to sensitive government materials," said acting assistant attorney general for national security, Mary McCord.

“Martin allegedly violated the trust our nation put in him by stealing and retaining classified documents and other material relating to the national defense. Insider threats are a significant danger to our national security and we will continue to work relentlessly with our law enforcement and intelligence partners to identify, pursue and prosecute such individuals.”

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