Contractor Pleads Guilty To Stealing Classified Data

Jessica Lynn Quintana, a former employee with a contractor at the Los Alamos National Laboratory pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, N.M. to stealing classified information from the lab and is now facing a maximum of one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. She has lost her security clearance and could also receive up to five years of probation.

Quintana was hired to archive classified information at the multi-disciplinary scientific laboratory in northern New Mexico. According to a release from the Department of Justice, she admitted in her plea that on July 27, 2006, she was working in a secure area at the lab and printed pages of classified documents and downloaded other classified information onto a thumb drive. She put the stolen data in a backpack and headed for home. Quintana told government agents that she stored the pages and thumb drive at her home, which was outside of her authorization limits. On October 17, officers of the Los Alamos Police Department executed a state search warrant on Quintana's home and seized the thumb drive containing classified information. Three days later, the FBI seized the classified printouts during the execution of a federal search warrant on her home.

News source: InformationWeek

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5 Comments

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Much better article. Paints her in a not so favorable light, but it does confirm that she allegedly removed the material so that she could work from home. Meth labs and sensitive nuclear weapons information don't mix well.

Agreed. Much better article. It seemed like a case where she was bringing work home. And the "bad judgment" seems to be reinforced with the revelation that she lives with a meth-lab boyfriend.

Quintana told government agents that she stored the pages and thumb drive at her home, which was outside of her authorization limits. The government didn't release any details about why she took the information.
From the light penalty, the lack of any evidence or claim she was trying to sell the information, and the statement in the article above where the government declined to comment on the reasons, I am guessing that she may have been bringing it home to work on it from home. Obviously, a bad idea, as this was classified information she was transporting out of the restricted area which it was to remain.

Sounds more like an error in judgment, rather than an attempt to profit.

I work for the government (non-classified ) and were not allowed to take anything home without our supervisors permission, please, working from home? She works for the government who does not like to pay overtime. She knew what she was doing....

Netrack said,
I work for the government (non-classified ) and were not allowed to take anything home without our supervisors permission, please, working from home? She works for the government who does not like to pay overtime. She knew what she was doing....
I've worked for the government, too (Air Force, Top Secret - SCI). I know a bit about security policies. It is entirely rational to believe that this person (contracted, not even a direct government employee) who probably gets paid per job/contract, not by the hour, would see possible opportunity to bring it home and work on it.

Yes, I am sure she knew it was wrong. I never claimed that she didn't know it was wrong. It was a judgment error - she thought she could sneak this by and get away with it. She didn't.