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Marine reserve officer charged with stealing classified documents

June 26, 2009 |  8:03 pm

A reserve Marine colonel who works as a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with stealing classified military documents for use by an anti-terrorism task force operated by sheriff’s officials.

Col. Larry J. Richards faces charges including conspiracy, dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming of an officer in addition to the wrongful transmission, retention and/or use of classified material, Marine Corps officials said today.

The series of charges followed a lengthy Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe. Richards will face a trial by court martial, said a corps spokesman at Camp Pendleton.

Richards, who was a co-founder of the sheriff’s Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group, is on paid leave from the department. He is in the process of being recalled to active duty, according to Marine officials.

The filing of the charges follows the June 11 guilty plea of a Marine gunnery sergeant accused of leaking secret intelligence information to Richards. Eric L. Froboese, an intelligence specialist with the Marine reserves, is a sheet-metal worker in civilian life.

-- Bob Pool