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Former FBI analyst in Kansas sentenced for keeping classified documents

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Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – A former analyst with the Kansas City division of the FBI was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for illegally keeping national defense documents at her home.

Kendra Kingsbury, 50, of Garden City, Kansas, was charged with improperly removing, and unlawfully and willfully retaining approximately 386 classified documents in her personal residence, according to a media release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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“Some of the classified documents she unlawfully removed and kept in her home contained extremely sensitive national defense information,” the DOJ said.

By retaining classified information in her home, at that time in North Kansas City, Mo., Kingsbury put national security at risk, prosecutors charged. The information described intelligence sources and methods related to the U.S. government’s effort related to counterterrorism, counterintelligence and defending against cyber threats, court documents stated.

In addition to the federal prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough Wednesday ordered three years of supervised release. She pleaded guilty last October to two counts of unlawfully retaining records related to national defense.

Kingsbury admitted during her employment with the FBI she repeatedly removed and retained in her personal residence an abundance of sensitive government materials, including classified documents related to national defense.

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Kingsbury was an FBI intelligence analyst for more than 12 years and assigned to squads focusing on illegal drug trafficking, violent crime, violent gangs and counterintelligence. She held a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance and had access to national defense and classified information, the Justice Department reported.

“Training presentations and materials specifically warned Kingsbury that she was prohibited from retaining classified information at her personal residence,” the release said. “Such information could only be stored in an approved facility and container.”

Kingsbury admitted to investigators the documents she retained in her personal residence included those in electronic format on hard drives, compact discs and other storage media. Classified documents from another government agency described intelligence sources and methods related to U.S. government efforts to collect intelligence on terrorist groups.

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“The documents included information about al Qaeda members on the African continent, including a suspected associate of Usama bin Laden,” the DOJ release said. “In addition, there were documents regarding the activities of emerging terrorists and their efforts to establish themselves in support of al Qaeda in Africa.”

Investigators with the FBI Omaha Field Office reviewed Kingsbury’s telephone records and found suspicious calls, according to court documents. Kingsbury called phone numbers associated with subjects of counterterrorism investigations and those individuals made phone calls to her.

“Investigators have not been able to determine why Kingsbury contacted these individuals, or why these individuals contacted her,” the DOJ said. “Kingsbury declined to provide the government with any further information.”