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Former NSA Employee Pleads Guilty in Leak Case

VOA News June 10, 2011

A former U.S. spy agency employee has pleaded guilty to unauthorized access of a government computer, as part of a plea agreement over a leak of classified documents.

Thomas Drake faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for the misdemeanor offense.

As part of the deal, the government said it will dismiss the indictment against Drake at the time of his sentencing in July. The 54-year-old is a former senior executive of the National Security Agency.

Prosecutors say Drake illegally accessed classified NSA computer systems from February 2006 to March 2007 to gather information that he passed on to a newspaper reporter.

He was charged last year on felony counts under the federal Espionage Act. The deal for the lesser charges was filed Thursday and Drake entered his plea Friday in a federal court in Baltimore.

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