A former U.S Air Force contractor pleaded guilty at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to illegally obtaining and keeping 2,500 pages of classified documents.
Izaak Vincent Kemp, 35, of Fairburn, Ohio, was charged on Jan. 25 with taking the classified material and keeping it at his home, according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Kemp was contracted by the Air Force Research Laboratory from July 2016 to May 2019, and was later contracted by the U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the DOJ statement read. (RELATED: Federal Contractor To Pay $6 Million Settlement After Overcharging DHS, Lying About Worker Skills)
The Fairborn City Police Department was dispatched to Kemp’s home on May 25, 2019, to investigate an alleged facility for growing marijuana, according to Forbes. The police allegedly found not only marijuana but also 1,000 pages of classified information, which were then handed over to the FBI. This is what prompted the investigation into the stolen files, the outlet reported.
The files recovered from Kemp’s home were highly sensitive and required security clearance beyond what is normal for classified material, according to Forbes.
The Airforce said Kemp “would have had to make a concerted effort to bypass security checkpoints,” the outlet reported.
Removing and keeping classified documents without proper authorization or security clearance is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, DOJ statement read.