Ex-NSA contractor pleads guilty in theft of secret documents

BALTIMORE (AP) — A former National Security Agency contractor accused in a theft of classified documents from the agency’s headquarters has pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Baltimore.

Harold T. Martin III pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of willful retention of national defense information. Another 19 counts are expected to be dismissed at sentencing in July. As part of plea agreement, Martin accepted nine years in prison with three years of supervised release.

The private contractor and former U.S. Navy lieutenant who held various security clearances was arrested by the FBI in August 2016.

He was due to go to trial in June, initially pleading not guilty to 20 counts of willfully retaining classified information.

But prosecutors announced this week that Martin would be re-arraigned, signaling a change in plea.

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