A former FBI agent in Minnesota got four years in prison with an additional three years of supervised release for leaking documents.
Terry James Albury pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Paul to leaking documents to a reporter from The Intercept, an online news publication.
He worked as an FBI Special Agent at the field office in Minneapolis at the time of the disclosure in 2016-2017. He was also working as a liaison with the Department of Customs and Border Protection at MSP International Airport during that same time period.
“I sincerely wanted to make a difference and never wanted to put anyone in danger,” Albury told Judge Wilhelmina Wright before she handed down the sentence.
Because of his work with the FBI, Albury held a Top Secret security clearance that allowed him access to “sensitive and classified FBI and other U.S. government information,” according to a 2018 FBI release.
Court documents from Albury’s guilty plea say Albury disclosed national defense information to an Intercept reporter. The documents included information on how the FBI assesses confidential informants, and a document “relating to threats posed by certain individuals from a particular Middle Eastern country.”
“I fully accept responsibility for what I did,” he said. “I sincerely apologize to everyone I hurt, especially my family and former colleagues.”
Albury pleaded guilty to two violations of the Espionage Act.
After handing down the four-year sentence, Judge Wright told Albury he “put the United States at risk.”
“I’m not blind to the racism in our society… I’m not blind to being a minority,” she said. “But that’s not an excuse. You can do good in this world again, but that’s your decision.”
Albury was allowed to leave the courthouse at his sentencing. but agreed to surrender at a date that should be within the next 45 to 60 days.
The defense had hoped for probation since Albury has a wife and two young children.
Albury and his attorneys declined to comment after sentencing.
Jill Sanborn, the Special Agent in Charge in the Minneapolis Field Division, released a statement:
“Former Agent Albury’s conduct was an act of selfishness in an organization full of selfless people and today’s sentence will serve as an appropriate punishment for his criminal conduct. He betrayed his colleagues and the trust the public puts in the men and women of the FBI to keep them and our communities safe.”