For the third time in four months, former self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown has been indicted on federal charges, this time for concealing evidence.
Brown has already been charged with a laundry list of crimes. He was arrested in September, after a raid on his Dallas apartment, then charged in October in connection with his allegedly threatening an FBI agent on YouTube. In December, the feds added a second indictment, accusing him of
taking part in disseminating information from a Christmas Day hack on the security firm Stratfor.
Yesterday, the feds added two counts of obstruction, for allegedly concealing evidence.
The indictment alleges that on March 6, 2012, Brown "did knowingly and corruptly conceal and attempt to conceal records, documents, and digital data contained on two laptop computers," aided and abetted by someone the court documents identify only as "KM." The feds say Brown was trying to "impair the integrity and availability" of the information found on those computers, which was meant to be used in grand jury and federal court proceedings. The charges carry a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years.
The new indictment clearly stems from the first raid on Brown's apartment, which happened March 6. According to Brown's own account of that raid, which you can read in full in this Pastebin document, Brown writes that he had heard the feds might be coming by the apartment. So he went instead to his mother's place; in the meantime, the feds raided his apartment; three FBI agents then came and knocked on his mom's door.
"They told me that they'd executed a search warrant at my apartment and that the door had been broken in the process," he writes, "and then asked me if I had any laptops with me here at my mom's place that I wanted to give them. I responded in the negative, and they left."
According to Brown, the feds left a document with him, stating that they were looking for evidence pertaining to "conspiracy to obstruct justice, and the obstruction of justice, i.e. tampering with a victim, witness, or informant" and "conspiracy to access without authorization protected computers, and fraud and related activity in connection with computers (aiding and abetting)."
Specifically, the document went on to say, they were looking for records relating to HBGary, another security firm whose CEO was legendarily hacked by Anonymous last year, as well as information in relation to Anonymous itself; a subgroup called Lulzsec; an organization called Infragard; another called Endgame Systems; Twitter records; IRC chat records; records relating to a site called wiki.echelon2.org; and pastebin.com itself.
Brown is due in court again next Wednesday, in the case related to his alleged FBI agent-threatening. At that time, U.S. District Judge Sam Linday will rule on a prison psychologist's recommendation that Brown be founded mentally competent to stand trial.
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