BOSTON (WPRI) — A Dighton man suspected of leaking highly classified military documents appeared in federal court Friday morning in Boston, where he was ordered held without bail pending a hearing next week.
Jack Teixeira, 21, is charged with unauthorized transmission of defense materials and unauthorized retention and removal of classified documents. He did not enter a plea.
His detention hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.
WATCH: Teixeira’s family outside court (story continues below)
The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman was arrested Thursday at his home in Dighton as part of an FBI investigation into the leaks.
According to the newly unsealed criminal complaint obtained by 12 News, the FBI alleges that starting around December 2022, Teixeira posted classified national defense information on social media, most of which bore markings like “TOP SECRET.”
While he initially posted text from the documents, the affidavit says in January 2023 he began posting photographs “that contained what appeared to be classification markings on official U.S. Government documents.”
Another user of the website who was interviewed by the FBI said Teixeira “explained that he had become concerned that he may be discovered making the transcriptions of text in the workplace, so he began taking the documents to his residence and photographing them.”
The documents contained details of the Russia-Ukraine conflict — including troop movements — gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies, according to the FBI.
The FBI said the images, posted on various public websites, could reasonably be expected to cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security. Some of the documents, according to a witness interviewed by the FBI, held information presented during briefings at the Pentagon.
The criminal complaint revealed Teixeira was granted top secret security clearance in 2021. To receive that, he would’ve had to have signed a non-disclosure agreement which spells out that the unauthorized sharing of protected information could result in criminal charges, according to the FBI.
His current job title is cyber defense operations journeyman, which allowed him the top secret security clearance.
Teixeira, a 2020 graduate of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, enlisted enlisted in the Air National Guard in September 2019, court documents show. Since May 2022, he has been an E-3/Airman First Class stationed at Otis Air National Guard Base in Sandwich, Mass.