by Saagar Enjeti
FBI investigators found reams of classified information in the home and car of suspected NSA spy Harold T. Martin III.
Martin reportedly had “six full banker’s boxes worth of documents,” along with nearly 20 terabytes of classified information in digital storage. Martin amassed multiple computers, thumb drives, and other digital storage devices, all containing highly classified information over a 20-year alleged espionage career.
Discovered among Martin’s treasure trove of information were classified NSA hacking tools which were found listed online for sale by a criminal enterprise with deep ties to Russian intelligence. Investigators have yet to find definitive evidence Martin sold the information to Russia, but have evidence that Martin communicated with others online in Russian.
A search of Martin’s car revealed a printed, highly classified email chain with hard-written notes on the back of the printout. Authorities believe the notes were meant to decipher the technical code, as if he intended to hand them over. Martin contends he only took classified information home so he could sharpen his skill and that he never turned over classified information to anyone.
“He presents tremendous value to any foreign power that may wish to shelter him within or outside the United States,” federal authorities wrote in a filing. Prosecutors continued that Martin’s “crimes reflect a willingness to routinely betray the trust of the nation,” and should thus not be granted any bail. Prosecutors contend Martin poses “a high risk of flight, a risk to the nation and to the physical safety of others.”
New filings by federal authorities indicate the U.S. government will prosecute Martin under the Espionage Act, which would put him behind bars for decades if convicted.
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