Soldier Faces Charges Over Sensitive Photos

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(AP) A soldier was indicted on federal charges for allegedly taking photographs of the top-secret military facility where he worked and trying to sell them to a Philadelphia publication.

Army Spc. Maurice D. Threats, 22, of Cascade, Md., who worked as a security guard in the Alternate Joint Communications Center, was charged Wednesday with transmitting defense information, bribery, and seeking a gratuity as a public official.

The heavily guarded center, better known as Site R, sits inside a hollowed-out granite mountain near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border and is one of several relocation sites for government leaders during national emergencies. Designed during the Cold War to withstand a nuclear attack, it houses several buildings and features amenities such as a barbershop and post office, the Army has said.

Threats’ court-appointed attorney, Thomas Thornton, said his client was trying to sell photos of the outside of the facility because he was having financial problems.

The publication, which prosecutors declined to identify, notified authorities after Threats offered to sell the photographs, prosecutor Dennis Pfannenschmidt said.

Threats remained free and in the military, although his assignment was changed. A preliminary hearing was expected sometime in October, Pfannenschmidt said.

He faces up to 27 years in prison if convicted on all counts, although federal-sentencing guidelines would probably result in a shorter term.

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