Robert Harwin, 68, of Rockville, Md., admitted to taking the documents from his office at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, based in Springfield, Va., the Smoking Gun reported Friday.
The agency analyzes photographs taken by cameras on drones and satellites, and it is believed to have played a role in the operation that led to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death in May 2011.
Harwin, who pleaded guilty last month to a single misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, no longer works for the agency.
The FBI caught wind of Harwin’s stealing when a co-worker noticed him acting suspiciously -- mainly carrying “a heavy plastic bag out of NGA facilities” more than once, the Smoking Gun said.
Another co-worker bolstered the government’s case by claiming Harwin admitted to “accidentally” taking classified NGA documents and storing them at his Rockville home.
Top-secret documents and other classified materials were found in the home, as well as in Harwin’s Toyota, the Smoking Gun reported.
The FBI confronted Harwin about his stash of classified documents, and the NGA employee “described himself as a hoarder,” according to the federal complaint charging Harwin with unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials.
It is highly unlikely that the government believed Harwin attempted to pass on the material because it agreed to enter into a plea deal with a single misdemeanor count, the Smoking Gun said.
Harwin is scheduled to be sentenced April 23. He faces as long as a year in prison and a fine of as much as $100,000.