STORY: Federal prosecutors on Thursday argued that a U.S. Air National Guardsman accused of leaking military secrets and keeping an arsenal of weapons in his bedroom posed a national security risk and should remain in custody pending trial.
Jack Teixeira was arrested by the FBI at his home in Massachusetts earlier this month and charged with violating the espionage act. Prosecutors say the 21-year-old leaked classified documents, including some relating to troop movements in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, to a group of gamers on the messaging app, Discord.
In a filing one day earlier, government attorneys said they believed Teixeira had tried to obstruct the investigation, citing chats where he told other users, "If anyone comes looking, don't tell them shit..." and "Whenever you get this, try to delete all my messages..."
The filing also suggests Teixeira may have tried to destroy evidence, point out that "authorities searched a dumpster at his residence and found a tablet, a laptop, and an Xbox gaming console, all of which had been smashed."
The court documents describe Teixeira, who lived with his mother and stepfather, as having kept a gun locker two feet from his bed, which contained handguns, bolt-action rifles and a military-style rifle with a high-capacity magazine.
FBI agents also found a gas mask, ammunition and what appeared to be a "silencer-style accessory in his desk drawer."
In arguing the suspect needed to remain in custody, investigators said Teixeira "may still have access to a trove of classified information" and could be a target for "hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States."
Teixeira's attorneys in a court filing on Thursday called the government's accusations "hyperbolic," and said the idea he might collude with an American adversary was "little more than speculation."
They opposed pretrial detention, and asked the judge to let him go home to the custody of his father.