Elizabeth Jo Shirley sentenced for willful retention

Elizabeth Jo Shirley sentenced for willful retention

Berkeley County woman, Elizabeth Jo Shirley sentenced for willful retention of top secret national defense documents and international parental kidnapping

MARTINSBURG, W.V (STL.News) Elizabeth Jo Shirley, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was sentenced to 97 months of incarceration for unlawfully retaining a document containing national defense information and 36 months of incarceration for committing international parental kidnapping.  The sentences will run concurrently.

Shirley, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of willful retention of national defense information and one count of international parental kidnapping in July 2020.  Shirley admitted to unlawfully retaining a National Security Agency (NSA) document containing information classified at the Top Secret/Secret Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) level relating to the national defense that outlines intelligence information regarding a foreign government’s military and political issues.  Shirley also admitted to removing her child, of whom she was the non-custodial parent, to Mexico with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of the custodial father’s parental rights.

“Shirley betrayed the trust of the American people when she took classified information from her work with the Intelligence Community,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the National Security Division.  “She then sought to profit from her betrayal by seeking to sell this information to Russia, one of America’s foremost adversaries, in order to further her criminal abduction of her daughter. 

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