Mass. Air National Guardsman to remain behind bars, faces up to 15 years in prison

BOSTON, Mass. (WLNE) — Suspected of leaking highly classified national security documents, Jack Teixeira appeared at the Moakley US Courthouse to face charges after he was taken into custody Thursday.

He is charged with Unauthorized Retention and Transmission of National Defense Information and Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Documents or Materials.

According to investigators, the 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman was granted a top-secret security clearance and maintained sensitive compartmented access to other highly classified programs. He allegedly distributed the documents over an online, private group chat. The FBI  was directed to him through an unknown member of the platform.

Teixeira was taken into custody Thursday evening at his North Dighton home.

The leaked documents have caught the attention of national and local leaders like Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed.

“It is a real problem,” said Reed Friday morning. “It undermines the dedication and reverence that we should have to protect the safety of this country.”

Teixeira will remain behind bars until a detention hearing next week in Boston.

Reed finished, “We have to send a strong message that these documents are vital to our national security. They can’t be used to impress friends or to obtain benefits from other countries. It’s wrong and it puts our servicemen in jeopardy.”

The Teixeira family refused to comment outside of court Friday morning.

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