Another airman probed by FBI for allegedly leaking intel on Discord

by Vern Evans

The FBI in 2022 investigated an Air Force intelligence analyst for allegedly leaking classified information in an anti-government group on the messaging platform Discord, according to an affidavit that was recently unsealed in federal court.

Former Staff Sgt. Jason Gray, who served as a cyber analyst with the 381st Intelligence Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, was accused of sharing a classified image that he “likely obtained” via his access to National Security Agency intelligence in a private channel under the username LazyAirmen#7460, according to the November 2022 affidavit obtained by Air Force Times.

The document did not elaborate on what the image showed. Gray’s former squadron provides intelligence to troops and leadership in defense of Alaska and other U.S. assets around the region.

He is currently serving five years in federal prison after a probe of his electronic devices, seeking evidence of potential leaks, revealed hundreds of images of child pornography, court records show.

In September 2022, Gray told investigators he created an anti-government “Boogaloo” Facebook page, called “CNN Journalist Support Group,” because he was disgruntled about his assignment to JBER, where he landed in February 2021. He also admitted to using Discord under the LazyAirman handle, where he participated in several channels “in support of the Boogaloo movement, dark humor, funny memes and dissatisfaction with the United States government,” according to the affidavit.

The Boogaloo movement is known for its far-right, anti-government and pro-white extremist views, as well as agitating for a second civil war. The movement has attracted some some troops and veterans, even as the military has sought to root out extremism within its ranks.

An Air Force spokesperson told Air Force Times that a probe by the service’s Office of Special Investigations “concluded there was no unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” adding that the FBI affidavit came before the Air Force had finished its own investigation.

It’s unclear whether the FBI’s investigation into Gray is still ongoing.

While court records don’t specify how Gray first came to the FBI’s attention, an Air Force spokesperson told Air Force Times that he was being investigated over extremism allegations. It appears investigators started questioning him around the same time as another high-profile leaker — a young airman who was also reportedly unhappy with the federal government — came to light.

Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira, a computer technician in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, pleaded guilty earlier this month to leaking sensitive documents about the war in Ukraine and other national security matters on Discord. The breach was among the most substantial leaks of classified military data in recent years.

Teixeira was part of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for maintaining military communications networks. He faces up to 17 years in prison; a sentencing hearing is scheduled for September.

The Air Force reprimanded 15 personnel over the leak after an inspector general report determined security gaps had enabled the breach, and that supervisors failed to intervene.

While the Air Force concluded Gray did not share classified material, investigators who combed through a computer and Google Pixel phone in November 2022 found a different problem: the first of what would become hundreds of images of child pornography, leading to another search that revealed more pictures, including images shared using the messaging app Kik.

Gray was arrested in January 2023 and pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography. He was sentenced in November to 60 months in federal prison and 25 years of supervised release, and must register as a sex offender.

Gray entered active duty in July 2015 and separated from the military in December 2023, according to Air Force personnel records.

Courtney Mabeus-Brown is the senior reporter at Air Force Times. She is an award-winning journalist who previously covered the military for Navy Times and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and more.

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