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Govt Contractor Arrested for Removing Classified Data from Govt Retention

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No intention to place info at risk.

Harold Martin, 51, was arrested in late August in what neighbors described as a dramatic FBI raid, but it was not until Wednesday that his curious case was revealed in a criminal complaint. In court documents, the FBI says Martin brought home both physical documents and information stored on digital devices, some of which was Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), the highest level of classification.

It was information that the FBI said if made public would "reasonably be expected to to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States." In all, the Department of Justice said investigators seized "thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computer or other digital storage devices and media".

It is unclear why Martin, a Navy veteran, allegedly removed so much sensitive information from his workplace, and allegedly stored it in his home, nearby woodsheds or his vehicle, but he has not been charged with espionage -- indicating to some former officials that this case may not be as serious as Snowden's. The Department of Justice said Tuesday that if convicted, Martin could face up to 11 years in prison -- one year for unauthorized removal of classified material and 10 years for theft of government property.

"It's not a repeat of Snowden, but it is another insider," former NSA deputy director Chris Inglis told ABC News Wednesday. "It could be quite harmful, but [so far] it's not as malicious or nefarious."

Jim Wyda, a public defender assigned to Martin, said there is "no evidence Hal Martin intended to betray his country."

"What we do know is that Hal Martin loves his family and his country. He served our nation honorably in the United States Navy, and he has devoted his entire career to serving and protecting America. We look forward to defending Hal Martin in court," Wyda said.

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