Former FBI Agent Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Leaking Documents


A former FBI agent in Minnesota was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to leaking documents to the website The Intercept.

Terry James Albury is the second leaker that the Department of Justice has put behind bars since Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to pursue more leak investigations in August 2017.

“I have this warning for would-be leakers: Don’t do it,” Sessions said at the time, adding that the DOJ had already received as many criminal referrals for the leaking of classified information than in the previous three years combined.

Albury apologized to his former FBI colleagues and said that he “truly wanted to make a difference and never intended to put anyone in danger” at the sentencing, The New York Times reported.

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His lawyers said in March that Albury was motivated in part because he was the only black field agent assigned to his counterterrorism squad and wanted to address “the well-documented systemic biases within the FBI.”

Albury expressed regret at his sentencing for not going through official channels to express his concerns, according to The Times.

Albury’s case is the second Espionage Act case that the Justice Department has closed after the August sentencing of NSA leaker Reality Winner, who also gave documents to The Intercept.

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“We are conducting perhaps the most aggressive campaign against leaks in Department history. … Today’s sentence should be a warning to every would-be leaker in the federal government that if they disclose classified information, they will pay a high price,” Sessions said in a Thursday statement.

Albury leaked secret documents that were published by The Intercept in a January 2017 series called “The FBI’s Secret Rules.” He shared “Secret level” national defense information with a reporter from 2016 to August 2017 using a variety of methods.

Albury collected the documents by taking photos of computer screens and copying the contents of classified documents into unclassified documents that he would then print.

Albury worked in the FBI’s Minneapolis field office and had a top secret security clearance, according to a Justice Department press release.

He faces three years of supervision after his prison release, The Times reported.

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