Ex-Springs TSA worker accused of trying to sabotage terrorist screening

March 10, 2010

A federal grand jury has indicted a Colorado Springs man on charges that he tried to damage a Transportation Security Administration computer after he was told his job as a data analyst for the federal agency would be terminated.

The indictment handed up Monday accuses Douglas James Duchak, 46, with trying to transmit a code that would have damaged a secure computer that contained a terrorist screening database.

Duchak is charged with two counts of attempted intentional damage to a protected computer. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 per count, prosecutors said.

He made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver Wednesday where U.S. Magistrate Craig B. Shaffer set bond at $25,000.

“We pleaded not guilty and look forward to putting our side of the story in front of a jury,” said Duchak’s lawyer M. David Lindsey, who declined further comment.

According to the indictment, Duchak worked for the TSA from August 2004 to Oct. 23, 2009. He was assigned to the TSA’s Colorado Springs Operations Center, which loads information into its servers from a terrorist screening database and the U.S. Marshal’s Service Warrant Information Network.

That system is used to vet people who have access to sensitive information and to secure areas within the nation’s transportation network.

Around Oct. 15, Duchak was told his job with the agency would be terminated effective Oct. 30, according to the indictment. The reason for the termination was not disclosed in the indictment.

On Oct. 22, he allegedly tried to damage the TSA’s secure computer and tried again the following day, the indictment alleges. The attempt would have caused at least $5,000 in damages and if completed, could have impacted national security, the indictment stated.

For more court coverage, go to the Sidebar blog at Gazette.com



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