Prosecutors are set to tell the judge that Teixeira “must be restrained.”
Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira began accessing “hundreds” of U.S. intelligence documents a year before he was arrested on charges of leaking U.S. intelligence documents, federal prosecutors said in a new court filing Wednesday.
In February 2022, Teixeira began “accessing hundreds of classified documents containing national security information” as an IT specialist in his unit, prosecutors said. Prosecutors also detailed why they believe the 21-year-old Massachusetts native poses a danger to the public if allowed to be released from custody. In the filing, prosecutors pointed to a “virtual arsenal of weapons” that Teixeira kept in residences owned by his parents, which he occupied, including “bolt-action rifles, shotguns, AR- and AK-style weapons, and a bazooka.”
Also, prosecutors flagged that in July 2022, Teixeira used his government computer to search for the terms “Ruby Ridge,” “Las Vegas shooting,” “Mandalay Bay shooting,” “Buffalo Tops shooting” and “Uvalde.” Filing. While investigators acknowledged that the searches could be tied to Teixeira’s belief in conspiracy theories that the government had advance knowledge of these mass shootings, “the search terms, the defendant’s violent statements on social media, and the defendant’s arsenal are troubling,” prosecutors said in the petition.
Teixeira is scheduled to appear in federal court in Worcester, Massachusetts on Thursday for a detention hearing. He has yet to file a plea.
In Wednesday’s filing, prosecutors argued that Teixeira “poses a serious flight risk” and “should have been restrained.”
“He currently faces up to 25 years in prison – and more – and other serious consequences for his conduct,” they added. “[T]The evidence against him is substantial and mounting; The alleged conduct would most obviously end his military career; And he had access, and still has access, to secret information which would have afforded him safe harbor and would have been of great value to the hostile nations from which he was attempting to escape from the United States.”
Prosecutors also filed that Teixeira took “a series of obstructive measures” aimed at preventing investigators from understanding the intent of his alleged actions. Those steps include “instructions that the defendant provided to other online members of a social media site (including ‘delete all messages’ and ‘[i]If anyone comes looking, don’t tell them ***’), as well as, following his arrest, officers searched a trash can at his home and found a tablet, laptop and an Xbox gaming console. Smashed.”
Prosecutors worried that if Teixeira were released on bail, “it would be all too easy,” creating what they called an “unacceptable risk” that “further dissemination of that classified information” would leave the country and “seek asylum. A foreign enemy.”
The filing was filed Wednesday while the two chiefs of the unit where Teixeira served were temporarily suspended by the U.S. Air Force amid an investigation into the leak.
The two senior leaders are the commander of the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron and the division commander who oversees administrative support for the squadron. With the suspension, they have temporarily lost access to classified systems and information.
Earlier this month, the federal magistrate judge overseeing Teixeira’s case granted his request to delay a detention hearing that will determine whether he should remain in federal custody. Teixeira sought to postpone the hearing so his attorneys would have more time to prepare arguments for his detention, according to court filings.