U.S. military leak suspect to appear in court; had arsenal, prosecutors say

BOSTON, April 27 (Reuters) – A U.S. Air National Guardsman accused of leaking military secrets and keeping an arsenal of weapons in his bedroom will appear in federal court on Thursday, where federal prosecutors are expected to argue he should remain in custody because he poses a national security risk.

Jack Douglas Teixeira was arrested by the FBI on April 13 at his home in Massachusetts and charged with violating the Espionage Act. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Worcester, Massachusetts on Thursday afternoon for his detention hearing.

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.

Teixeira, who lived with his mom and stepfather, 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,” according to a motion arguing that Teixeira should remain in custody before his trial.

“The defendant undoubtedly poses a danger to the U.S. at large based on his ability to cause exceptionally grave danger to the U.S. national security,” according to a motion filed by the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins. “However, there is also evidence to suggest that the Defendant may also pose a physical danger to the community.”

In 2018, while in high school, Teixeira was suspended after he was overheard making racial threats and remarks about guns. Teixeira attributed those remarks to a reference in a video game, according to prosecutors.

More recently, in November 2022, Teixeira said if he had his way, he would “kill a ton of people” because it would be “culling the weak minded,” prosecutors alleged in documents supporting their motion to detain Teixeira.

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