A former Pentagon contractor who worked on US missile systems has been charged with sharing classified information in a revenge plot against his employer after he lost his security clearance for smoking medical marijuana.
According to charging documents first obtained by The Daily Beast, James Robert Schweitzer, 58, sent the ‘national defense information’ to news outlets while he worked as a software engineer through July 2016. The documents don’t specify his employer, but the company was revealed by the Daily Beast as Raytheon.
The filing claims that Schweitzer, who is said to have also revealed to police that his ‘dark fantasy’ is to commit mass murder, lost his security clearance in 2014 for smoking prescribed pot and sought revenge on his employer, whom he worked for from 2003 to 2016.
Prosecutors claim that Schweitzer admitted to the FBI that he knew some of the ‘critical military information’ he shared ‘could result in American casualties abroad or in the United States’.
After losing his security clearance, Schweitzer ‘filed a number of complaints with the DoD Inspector General’ alleging that his employer, who is not identified in the filing, ‘violated classified information security handling protocols’.
According to charging documents James Robert Schweitzer (pictured), 58, sent classified ‘national defense information’ to news outlets while he worked as a software engineer through July 2016
The documents don’t specify his employer, but the company was revealed by The Daily Beast as Raytheon (file image)
‘When [he] did not receive what he believed was the proper resolution of his DoDIG complaint, Schweitzer began sending out classified national defense information regarding the sensor project,’ the filing reads.
At one point, Schweitzer is said to have stated that he would stop sending classified information if he received a written admission from DoD and his employer ‘that the alleged security violations he reported had occurred’.
He then reportedly said he’d use the admission to sue the DoD and his employer.
And while court records do not name the company he worked for, the Daily Beast revealed that a list of California state campaign contributions says Schweitzer is a Raytheon employee.
That would make him the second known Raytheon missile systems engineer to be arrested this year for mishandling classified information.
According to the complaint, Schweitzer informed a security officer in 2010 that he intended to begin using medical marijuana that was prescribed by a physician.
At the time, the officer told Schweitzer that his ‘security clearance would be unaffected provided that he complied with state law,’ the complaint reads.
But in 2014, Schweitzer was told that the advice the officer gave him was ‘erroneous’ and that he would need to stop smoking pot. Schweitzer refused and ultimately lost his security clearance that year.
According to the complaint, Schweitzer allegedly posted classified documents in a public Dropbox link and congratulated Iran after a 2019 drone strike on Saudi. ‘Congratulations Iranian Engineers, you defeated the Patriot Radar,’ the tweet reads
It was after he lost his security clearance that he filed multiple complaints about Raytheon.
When his complaints went nowhere, Schweitzer allegedly started sending out the classified information about the Patriot sensor systems in order to ‘bait’ the government into responding to his grievances.
Authorities claim the information was sent over unsecured computer networks, to Pentagon employees, Raytheon employees and the media.
In addition to sending the informaton, Schweitzer is also said to have sent messages, including one from March 2019 that said: ‘Back when I submitted my complaint almost 3 years ago, I would have never even considered using military secrets as bait. Last summer, it became my primary tactic. Lordy, how times change.’
Another message that was sent to a DoD employee reads: ‘I will continue to use your classified info as bait. I will keep pulling stunts until I am vindicated or incarcerated.’
In August 2019, he allegedly emailed several Raytheon employees, saying: ‘Technically, the attached paper is not classified because only the US government can declare something classified. HOWEVER-trust me, it is quite classified.
‘My goal was is (sic) a Top Secret. On Monday Aug 5, 7 packages with this paper will be getting opened up (many on the east coast). More packages will be showing up through the week.’
The complaint says that Schweitzer sent an email to DoD and Raytheon employees that reads: ‘The paper I sent to you through the mail and email is now available online. Over the past 14 months I have made at least two dozen transmissions of secret data from my house… I have been leaving classified droppings across the nation the past year.’
According to the complaint, Schweitzer allegedly posted classified documents in a public Dropbox link that could be accessed by anyone and congratulated Iran after a 2019 drone strike on Saudi oil facilities in a tweet.
Schweitzer has been charged with malicious mischief and destruction of government property.
If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He is due back in court on December 28.