The Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of leaking classified intelligence documents online had researched mass shootings, made violent and racist threats, and had built up an “arsenal” of weaponry, according to Justice Department lawyers.
In legal filings late Wednesday, prosecutors argued that Jack Teixeira, 21, should be detained pending trial in light of his personal history and alleged attempts to destroy evidence before his arrest earlier this month. They alleged he poses a “serious flight risk” and may even “still have access to a trove of classified information that would be of tremendous value to hostile nation states that could offer him safe harbor and attempt to facilitate his escape from the United States.”
In its filing, the DOJ divulged details of what it described as Teixeira’s “troubling history.” In July 2022, he allegedly used his government computer to research notorious mass shootings by searching for terms including “Ruby Ridge,” “Las Vegas shooting,” and “Uvalde.”
Teixeira had also been suspended from his high school in March 2018 when a classmate “overheard him make remarks about weapons, including Molotov cocktails, guns at the school, and racial threats,” the filing states. It goes on to say that he’d applied for a firearms identification card (FID) the same year, but his application was denied over local police’s concerns about his comments at school.
He then reapplied in 2019 and 2020, citing his “position of trust in the United States government” to demonstrate he could be trusted to own firearms. Authorities allegedly found a “virtual arsenal of weapons” in Teixeira’s possession, including “handguns, bolt-action rifles, shotguns, an AK-style high-capacity weapon, and a gas mask.”
In a dumpster outside his mother’s home in North Dighton, Massachusetts, FBI special agents also recovered a “military-style helmet with a mounting bracket—such as those used for cameras—affixed to the top of the helmet” along with a GoPro camera. His arsenal even included “a bazooka,” prosecutors claim.
Image of Jack Teixeira’s room.
A military-style helmet and jacket found in a dumpster.
Teixeira allegedly destroyed several electronic devices.
Along with his extensive weaponry, the DOJ lawyers also raised concerns about regular comments allegedly made by Teixeira on social media concerning violence and murder. In November, they claim he said he wanted to “kill a fuck ton of people” as it would be “forcibly culling the weak minded.” Then in February, he purportedly talked about wanting to make “an assassination van” and sought advice on how to accurately “shoot out of an SUV.” He added that he wanted the advice for a shooting in a “crowded urban or suburban environment.”
Prosecutors further claim that Teixeira was aware that the information he was sharing was secret. When asked in November by another person if what he’d posted was classified, he allegedly answered: “everything that ive been telling u guys up to this point has been lol.”
Teixeira later instructed others to “delete all messages” and told them “[i]f anyone comes looking, don’t tell them shit” in an effort to cover his tracks, the filing states. After his arrest, authorities allegedly found a tablet, laptop, and Xbox gaming console—all of which had been smashed—in a dumpster at his residence. “These efforts appeared calculated to delay or prevent the government from gaining a full understanding of the seriousness and scale of his conduct,” prosecutors say.
Teixeira’s attorneys are expected to argue against pre-trial detention at a hearing in the case in Massachusetts on Thursday. He is charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and willful retention of classified documents, and will face a sentence of at least 25 years if convicted.