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NSA worker charged with mishandling labeled materials

Friday, April 1, 2022
MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

A National Security Agency worker has been charged with emailing labeled nationwide safety data to any individual who wasn’t approved to obtain it, in accordance with a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

Mark Robert Unkenholz, 60, of Hanover, Maryland, was arrested Thursday however ordered launched after his preliminary court docket look in Baltimore.

Unkenholz held “top secret” safety clearance, giving him entry to the knowledge, in accordance with a 26-count indictment. He labored for an NSA workplace chargeable for the company’s engagement with personal business.

The indictment accuses Unkenholz of utilizing his private e-mail handle to ship data labeled as “secret” and “top secret” to any individual else’s personal firm e-mail addresses on a number of events between February 2018 and June 2020.

The recipient held “top secret” clearance from April 2016 till roughly June 2019, whereas employed at an organization that is not named within the indictment. However, from July 2019 till roughly January 2021, the particular person labored for a distinct firm and wasn’t approved to entry or obtain labeled data, the indictment says.

A grand jury indicted Unkenholz on Tuesday on 13 counts of willfully transmitting nationwide protection data and 13 counts of willfully retaining nationwide protection informaton. Each depend carries a most jail sentence of 10 years. Federal sentencing tips sometimes advocate sentences far beneath the utmost.

Unkenholz pleaded not responsible to all 26 counts at his preliminary court docket look. U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth Gesner ordered him launched after the listening to, court docket information present.

Gesner appointed the federal public defender’s workplace to signify Unkenholz. Federal Public Defender James Wyda declined to remark.

The FBI is investigating.

The case in opposition to Unkenholz is the most recent prosecution from federal authorities in Maryland, dwelling to a number of the most secretive authorities businesses, alleging mishandling or improper storage of labeled supplies.

One of the extra outstanding federal instances concerned Harold Martin, a former NSA contractor who was charged in 2016 with storing reams of labeled information in his Maryland dwelling, automobile and shed. The data spanned from the mid-Nineties to the current and included private particulars of presidency staff and “top secret” e-mail chains, handwritten notes describing the NSA’s labeled laptop infrastructure, and descriptions of labeled technical operations. He was sentenced in 2019 to 9 years in jail.

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