Barrett Brown, a journalist and activist with links to the hacker group Anonymous, is set to be sentenced in a federal court in Dallas on Tuesday. Brown was known as a “spokesman” for the loosely tied hacking collective and is facing charges for allegedly assisting a hacker involved with a breach of the security and intelligence company Stratfor in 2011.
Brown, 33, entered a plea deal with prosecutors in April that wiped away a number of charges he was facing that, upon conviction, could have put him in prison for the rest of his life. Federal prosecutors wanted to put Brown behind bars for publicly linking to hundreds of gigabytes of private data stolen from Stratfor, including credit card numbers and personal information, the former of which were used to donate thousands of dollars to charities.
Now Brown could be imprisoned for more than eight years, according to the Associated Press. He faces two charges, one for allegedly helping to hide the identity of the hacker who infiltrated and stole information from Stratfor after the hack was executed and another for obstructing a search warrant against himself, according to Wired.
Jeremy Hammond, an Anonymous hacker from Chicago, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in 2013 for his direct role in the Stratfor hack.
Brown was arrested in 2012 and, over the course of two years, faced at least 15 federal charges, the most serious being alleged threats and conspiracy to harm a federal law officer after he said he would “destroy” an FBI officer that he accused of harassing his mother. Free Barrett Brown, a group supporting Brown, argued in a blog post in February that Brown did not ever threaten to physically harm the FBI officer, Robert Smith. The site said that Brown only threatened to “find dirt” on the agent.
Brown maintains he broke ties with Anonymous in 2011 and denies he was ever a "spokesman" for the group.