Former Maryland NSA Employee Sentenced for Wrongfully Possessing Classified Information - Southern Maryland Headline News

Former Maryland NSA Employee Sentenced for Wrongfully Possessing Classified Information

Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr., age 34, of Waldorf, Maryland, was sentenced on March 30, 2006 to 72 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for unlawfully possessing classified information related to the national defense, and making a false statement to a U.S. government agency. Ford was convicted on December 15, 2005 after a two week trial.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, "Government employees who betray the public trust and endanger national security must be held accountable."

According to evidence presented at trial, Ford was employed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland between June 2001 and late 2003. On January 11, 2004, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Ford’s residence in Waldorf, Maryland and discovered sensitive classified information throughout his house, including numerous Top Secret documents in 2 boxes in Ford’s kitchen. Ford was arrested on January 12, 2004. Evidence presented during the trial indicated that Ford took home the classified information on the last day of his employment at NSA in December 2003, when Ford was to start working in the private sector on a classified contract for a defense contractor. Ford also wrote out a statement on the night the search was conducted, admitting to taking home the documents, but at trial argued that the statement had been coerced by the FBI. Witnesses from both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency testified that the classified documents, some of which were displayed to the jury in edited form, were extremely sensitive and related to the national defense of the United States.

Testimony at trial also showed that on October 5, 2004, Ford made a false statement in connection with his submission to Lockheed Martin of a government clearance form known as a Standard Form 86. Ford stated on that form that he had been falsely arrested by the FBI, had no police record and no pending charges against him. In addition to establishing that Ford had been arrested on January 12, 2004, the evidence at trial indicated that a federal magistrate judge had informed Ford as late as August 25, 2004 that he was to inform any prospective employer of “the pending charges” so the employer could determine whether Ford could have access to classified documents.

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