This week in federal court, a Palm Beach County man tied to a strange case of international espionage pleaded guilty to the rack of criminal charges he was facing. Rather than fight his case, Christopher Glenn admitted he hacked into classified computer files while working as a private contractor at a U.S. air base in Honduras. The 34-year-old's guilty plea closes the door on a bizarre case that includes accusations of sex trafficking, computer hacking, and misdeeds across the globe, from Latin America to Iraq.
In court this week, Glenn pleaded "guilty to willful retention of classified national defense information pursuant to the Espionage Act, one count of computer intrusion pursuant to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and one count of conspiracy to commit naturalization fraud," according to a release from the FBI.
Glenn hacked into information on national defense from the Department of Defense and the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Task Force Bravo while working as a computer systems administrator at the Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. He also allegedly conspired to commit immigration fraud with his wife, Khadraa A. Glenn, an Iraqi citizen. She pleaded guilty to immigration fraud last fall.
"Christopher Glenn accessed, copied, and retained classified information that belonged to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Task Force, without authorization," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement this week. "Systems administrators occupy a place of unique trust in an organization due to their extensive access to the cyber systems they maintain. With today's plea, Mr. Glenn is being held accountable for his violation of that trust."
Glenn will be sentenced April 17.
This isn't the first time the computer programmer has gotten into trouble with the military. According to a federal indictment, Glenn was the subject of a military investigation while working at Camp Bucca in Iraq in 2007. No charges stemmed from that fraud investigation.
More disturbing, however, are the allegations that Glenn was trafficking in underaged children while living in Honduras. He allegedly paid the parents of young girls to have the children become house servants at his walled compound in a rural part of the country, where abuse allegedly took place.