Terry James Albury, the former Minneapolis FBI agent who pleaded guilty this spring to leaking classified documents to a news outlet, will be sentenced in October, a federal judge said Friday.
U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright set an Oct. 18 sentencing hearing in St. Paul for Albury, 39. The former agent admitted in April he had passed along documents to The Intercept — an online news publication that often focuses on national security — that later appeared in its "FBI's Secret Rules" series on how the bureau assesses potential informants.
Albury pleaded guilty to one count each of making an unauthorized disclosure and unlawful retaining of national defense information, for leaking the files while he worked as a special agent focusing on counterterrorism at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Each count is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case has drawn sharp criticism from press freedom advocates, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, which railed against the Justice Department's use of World War I-era espionage laws "to go after journalistic sources." A Washington, D.C.-based attorney for the Justice Department's National Security Division is leading the prosecution.
Though Albury has no criminal record, prosecutor David Recker has said he would seek to increase Albury's "offense level score" because his crimes were an "abuse of public trust."
Albury's plea agreement with the government did not settle on a possible prison term that both sides could recommend, but did suggest that guidelines could call for a sentence of three to five years.
Albury is out of custody on a $100,000 unsecured bond and several conditions, including the seizure of his passport.
Albury's attorneys, JaneAnne Murray and Joshua Dratel, have signaled that they plan to address workplace grievances at sentencing. The attorneys previously said that Albury, one of the only black agents in the FBI's Minneapolis division at the time, was "profoundly" affected by FBI directives that "profiled and intimidated minority communities in Minnesota and other locations."