Former FBI Agent Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Document Leak, Attorneys Defend as ‘Patriot’

A former FBI agent, Terry James Albury, 39, has been sentenced to four years in prison, after pleading “guilty in April to one count each of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and unauthorized retention of national defense information,” after stealing “more than 70 documents, including 50 that were classified,” according to the Associated Press.

Albury subsequently shared the information “with an online news organization,” including one document that was classified at a “secret” level and “related to how the FBI assesses confidential informants.”

Albury’s attorneys said their client had acted as a patriot and had taken his actions due to feeling morally conflicted by what he perceived as racial profiling inherent to the FBI’s policies.

Albury is said to have been emotional during his sentencing, with U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright telling Albury that his actions were intentional and deserving of imprisonment.

“You did so knowingly. You did so willingly. You know what you did was a criminal act, and you knew that you were putting the nation’s security at risk,” Wright said during the hearing, noting that she hoped the tough sentence would be a warning to others.

When asked to address his case, Albury said he had become an FBI agent based on a “sincere desire to serve, protect, and make this world a better place,” but ultimately became convinced that some of the FBI’s policies were harmful, and that he felt discounted and isolated as a minority within the agency.

Compared to other agencies with relatively similar missions, the FBI’s overall workforce is seemingly lacking in minority representation, with minorities making up 24.9 percent of the workforce in March 2018, according to FedScope. By comparison, within other DOJ agencies, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s workforce is 32% minority, the Bureau of Prisons’ rate is 37.6%, and the DOJ Office of Inspector General’s rate is 39.2%. In other federal law enforcement agencies, the rates are even higher. Within Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the workforce is 40.5% minority and within Customs and Border Protection, the rate is 48.3%.

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