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Georgia NSA leaker sentenced to more than five years

A Georgia woman who pleaded guilty to mailing a classified U.S. report to a news organization was sentenced to more than five years in prison.

A Georgia woman has been sentenced more than five years for leaning U.S. secret information to news media.

Reality Winner, 26, a former National Security Agency contractor, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall in Augusta on Thursday as part of a deal with prosecutors. Winner pleaded guilty in June on a single count of transmitting national security information.

Winner printed a classified report and left the building with it tucked into her pantyhose and mailed it to news organizations, according to an FBI report.

Wearing an orange prison uniform and shackles in court and Winner told the court that she took responsibility for “an undeniable mistake.” Winner’s mistake also lead to U.S investigators to reveal her actions lead to Russian election meddling.

U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine, a top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Georgia, told reporters at a press conference that the punishment for Winner is the longest sentence ever given for a federal crime involving the leak of secret information to news media. Winner will get credit for having spent more than a year in jail already, said Christine.

“She was the quintessential example of an insider threat,” said Christine to the Court.

The total length of Winner’s sentence will be five years and three months in prison.

Before Winner’s sentencing, other leaked cases with the stiffest sentence was for three years and seven months given to a former FBI explosives expert.


Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns. Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. Jeremy has lived in Camden County for over 17 years.

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