July 16, 2011
A former high-ranking US intelligence official who was accused of passing classified information from the secretive National Security Agency (NSA) to a reporter was sentenced Friday to a year’s probation.
The sentence handed down by a US federal judge against Thomas Drake, 54, a former executive at the NSA, was for a misdemeanor charge of “exceeding authorized use of a government computer” to gain access to information from a US federal agency.
Drake had been looking at spending decades in prison after he was indicted last year under the Espionage Act on 10 counts, including retaining classified documents, obstructing an FBI investigation, and lying about whether the documents he accessed were classified.
But last month, the charges against him were dropped and he struck a plea deal under which he admitted only to the misdemeanor offense of unauthorized access to a government computer.