A resident of West Virginia and former intelligence employee pleaded guilty to intentionally storing top-secret information about national defence and international kidnapping his own child, according to the website of the U.S. Department of justice.
47-year-old Elizabeth Joe Shirley from Hedgesville pleaded guilty on one count of “Willful retention of information on national defence” and one item “International child abduction by a parent.” Shirley admitted illegal possession of the document of the national security Agency (NSA) that contains information of the level of top secret/sensitive business information (TS/SCI) about the national defense, which sets out the intelligence on military and political issues foreign government. Shirley also admitted that he had taken his child, legal guardian, not that she was in Mexico to prevent the lawful exercise of parental rights of the father-guardian.
“When Shirley took classified information from his job in the intelligence community, and then fled to Mexico, she broke the trust of the American people, — said the assistant attorney General for national security John Demers. — She doubled it’s betrayal when he attempted to offer secret information to the Russian government. We are grateful for the timely work of our law enforcement partners to search for and arrest of the accused in Mexico. Given the alarming behavior of Shirley, after fleeing from the United States, the damage to national security could be much more if the police did not act quickly. Shirley will now be held accountable for betraying the trust of the American people.”
“The high level of security requires a reasonable level of confidence. Shirley violated that trust and tried to jeopardize our country. National security is and always will be one of our highest priorities. Now Shirley will face the consequences of their actions,” said us attorney William Powell.
“Federal government employees and contractors with a resolution for security high-level pledge to protect confidential information from foreign adversaries. This is an important obligation in protecting the national security of our country, — said the special representative of the FBI in Pittsburgh Michael Christmann. Shirley was obliged to protect classified information. Instead, she chose to break the law and trust in her and was planning to transmit information on national defense Russian officials that might endanger our citizens. The FBI does not. Do not treat these violations easily and try to bring to justice those responsible for the security of our country.”
Shirley served in the U.S. air force, and in August 1994, the air force provided her with the first resolution is TS/SCI. After leaving active service, Shirley served in the reserves of the U.S. air force and then in the reserves with the U.S. Navy. During his service in the air force, she worked in jobs at the NSA. From may 2001 to August 2012, Shirley has held various positions in the Office of naval intelligence, U.S. Navy, Department of defense, Department of energy, Joint national task force on cyber investigations and, at least, in five different services-contractors clearance. In connection with these positions of Shirley at different times conducted a security check of the category TOP SECRET/SCI.
In July 2019 Shirley took my six year old daughter to Mexico with the intention to contact the representatives of the Russian government with a request for resettlement in a country that does not give it back to the United States. Shirley took with him to Mexico information about national defense, which she illegally kept. While in Mexico, Shirley has prepared a written message to Russian government officials, citing the “urgent need” to have “sent from USA items related to the work of [her] life before they will be seized and destroyed.”
13 August 2019, the U.S. marshals Service and Mexican law enforcement authorities found Shirley and her daughter at a hotel in Mexico city. Mexican authorities have arrested Shirley on a warrant obtained by state police WV (WVSP) on charges of concealing minors from guardian.
Subsequently, the FBI raided numerous electronic devices Shirley, including devices that she took to Mexico in July 2019, and devices that the FBI seized from her store in Martinsburg in August of 2019. In the search vault FBI found a document with information on national defense. In addition, in the search of electronic devices the FBI found the PowerPoint presentation of the office of naval intelligence containing information classified at the level SECRET, and the posts that Shirley prepared for Russian government officials as in Mexico, the latter of which includes the Central intelligence Agency.
Shirley faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $ 250,000 in the case of national security and to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $ 250,000 in the case of the kidnapping. In accordance with the Federal rules of sentencing the actual sentence will be based on the gravity of the crimes and prior criminal history, if any.