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‘Secret’ military files found at home of Special Forces vet charged in Jan. 6 Capitol breach

A crowd outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (Image from FBI affidavit/TNS)
April 19, 2022

A retired Special Forces soldier arrested for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol protest has been charged once again for allegedly keeping “secret” national defense documents that he obtained while serving in the U.S. Army.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Jeremy Brown, 47, served as a Special Forces soldier with a “secret” security clearance from 1992 to 2012. His clearance allowed him to access national defense information at the time, but he was not authorized to keep the documents, which involve military actions between 2004 and 2005.

A federal grand jury in Tampa last week returned the indictment that alleges Brown “willfully retained the documents and failed to deliver them to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.”

One of the documents in question is described in the indictment as a “threat frequency report” of a “combined explosives exploitation cell” in Afghanistan. Another file contains information on an improvised explosive device, a third is labeled “Spider Device Testing Procedures and Results, and the final document is marked as a “fragmentary order.”

The indictment warns that the “secret” information “could be expected to cause serious damage” to national security if revealed.

The “secret” classification is a step above “confidential” and a step below “top secret,” the Times reported.

After being indicted on the new charges, Brown’s defense attorney William Sansone told the court that his client wanted to represent himself.

“He is not just competent but a highly intelligent individual,” Sansone wrote in a court paper filed Sunday. “Mr. Brown has the constitutional right to represent himself and he is adamant that at this juncture of his case, he is the best person to lead his defense.”

Sansone also explained that Brown has two pro bono attorneys who agreed to help him.

In September, Brown was arrested for his part in the Jan. 6 Capitol protest. Court documents claim that the former soldier was identified wearing combat attire. While he is not accused of entering the building, federal prosecutors alleged he has ties to the Oath Keepers, a group that describes itself as a “non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders…who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to ‘defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'”

The apparent leader of the Florida Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs, allegedly called Brown a “loose cannon” who had explosives. During a search of Brown’s home, law enforcement discovered a short-barreled rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and three hand grenades.

A federal judge determined that Brown should remain detained while awaiting his trial due to a concerning sign that the former Special Forces soldier had posted outside his home, which allegedly warned law enforcement to “bring a bigger tactical package” if they return. Brown later asserted that the sign was not a threat.