Both violations could bring 15 or 20 years in prison if convicted, after the Pentagon deemed his actions as posing a "very serious" national security risk. The documents were a mix of classifications: everything from sensitive but unclassified, to Secret, to 'Top Secret/NOFORN' - meaning foreign allies were not allowed access to these. Espioange Act charges typically carry up to 10 years in prison each.
Teixeira appeared in a federal court on Friday in Boston, after a somewhat dramatic FBI raid and arrest outside a residence in North Dighton, Massachusetts the day prior.
One question which has been commonly asked is how such a young, relatively low ranking national guardsman was able to access so many classified and even Top Secret material... His specialty was military intelligence and specifically he worked in communications systems related to classified DoD networks:
Mr Teixeira, who made his first appearance in court on Friday in Boston, is a member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The charge sheet says he was given top-secret security clearance in 2021 and since February this year had the title of "Cyber Defense Operations Journeyman".
And concerning the systems he worked on: "Though a low-ranking member of the military, he served in the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, a position that came with a top secret security clearance and access to the Pentagon's Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System," The Hill describes.