2017-06-15 / Front Page

Reality Leigh Winner detainment sparks local, national attention


REALITY WINNER REALITY WINNER The Lincoln County community has been abuzz over the last several days as news outlets and reporters from around the country have not only called to inquire, but have physically ventured here, in hopes of acquiring information about the infamous Reality Winner – a federal contractor accused of leak­ing classified NSA information to a major media outlet – who is not only making national headlines, but is currently being detained at the Lincoln County jail.

Several local business owners have reported giving directions to a slew of reporters in search of the jailhouse, along with those at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, who have been fending off report­ers from every major news outlet including CNN, and other publica­tions such as People Magazine and TMZ.

Winner, 25, of Augusta, was arrested on June 3, and appeared in federal court on June 8. She is currently facing up to 10 years im­prisonment, on top of a fine of up to $250,000, with up to three years of supervised release, as she was recently indicted by a grand jury on the charge of willful retention and transmission of national defense information.

Winner was a linguist with the United States Air Force before she became an employee with the Pluribus International Corporation, where she was reported as having “top secret security clearance,” which eventually lead to the dis­semination of classified documenta­tion to a media outlet.

Since Lincoln County functions as a pre-trial federal detention facility, for the Sheriff’s Office it’s business as usual, as it’s not uncommon for detainees with legitimately serious cases to be housed within the facility – even for prolonged, undetermined stints.

“For us, we’re just treating Win­ner as we would any other inmate,” Sheriff Bruce Beggs said, reporting that thus far, neither he, nor any of the jailers or other officers have not had any trouble with Winner.

As of right now, the length of Win­ner’s detention in Lincoln County is undetermined, and according to Beggs, as long as he and his office continue not to have trouble with her, and the federal government refrains from moving her, she will remain in the facility indefinitely.

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