Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira pleads guilty to leaking military secrets

Artist depiction shows Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira in front of a judge.
This artist depiction shows Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, right, appearing in U.S. District Court in Boston on April 14, 2023.
(Margaret Small / Associated Press)

Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court to leaking highly classified military documents about the war in Ukraine and other national security secrets.

Teixeira’s plea agreement with prosecutors calls for a prison sentence between 11 and nearly 17 years. Prosecutors plan to seek the high end of the range, according to the agreement.

Teixeira, of North Dighton, Mass., pleaded guilty to six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information under the Espionage Act nearly a year after he was arrested in the most consequential national security leak in years.


He smiled at his father before being led out of the courtroom Monday with his hands and legs shackled, wearing orange jail garb and black rosary beads around his neck.

The Air Force inspector general says the classified documents leak by a service member this year was made worse by the failure of multiple officials.

Dec. 11, 2023

Teixeira, 22, admitted illegally collecting military secrets and sharing them with other users on Discord, a social media platform popular with people playing online games. The stunning security breach raised alarm over America’s ability to protect its most closely guarded secrets and forced the Biden administration to scramble to try to contain diplomatic and military fallout. The leaks embarrassed the Pentagon, which tightened controls to safeguard classified information and disciplined members found to have intentionally failed to take required action about Teixeira’s suspicious behavior.

Teixeira, who was part of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts, worked as a cyber transport systems specialist, essentially an information technology specialist responsible for military communications networks.

Authorities said he first typed out classified documents he accessed and then began sharing photographs of files that bore SECRET and TOP SECRET markings. The leak exposed to the world unvarnished secret assessments of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the capabilities and geopolitical interests of other nations and other national security issues.

Manuel Rocha was arrested by the FBI at his Miami home in December on allegations of engaging in clandestine activity on Cuba’s behalf.

Feb. 29, 2024

Teixeira remains in the Air National Guard in an unpaid status, an Air Force official said.

Teixeira has been behind bars since his April arrest. The judge denied his request for release from jail last year after prosecutors revealed he had a history of violent rhetoric and warned that U.S. adversaries who might be interested in mining Teixeira for information could facilitate his escape.


Prosecutors have said little about a motive. But members of the Discord group described Teixeira as someone looking to show off, rather than being motivated by a desire to inform the public about U.S. military operations or to influence American policy.

A federal magistrate judge says a Massachusetts Air National Guard member charged with leaking classified military documents will remain behind bars.

May 19, 2023

Prosecutors have said Teixeira continued to leak government secrets even after he was warned by superiors about mishandling and improper viewing of classified information. In one instance, Teixeira was seen taking notes on intelligence information and putting them in his pocket.

The Air Force inspector general found that members “intentionally failed to report the full details” of Teixeira’s unauthorized intelligence-seeking because they thought security officials might overreact. For example, although Teixeira was confronted about the notes, there was no follow-up to ensure the notes had been shredded and the incident was not reported to security officers.

It was not until a January 2023 incident that the appropriate security officials were notified, but even then security officials were not briefed on the full scope of the violations.

Richer writes for the Associated Press. AP reporter Tara Copp in Washington contributed to this report.