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Bellingham man caught trying to sell info on border security

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (NEWS1130) – A Bellingham man will serve a year and a day in jail after being caught trying to sell information on American security measures along the border with Canada.

The man had US government maps, locating border cameras and sensors.

Special Assistant US Attorney Marci Ellsworth says 32-year-old Leif Rankin attempted to sell the maps for $6,000 to an undercover agent who he believed was a drug smuggler.

“It would be a security concern for anyone on either side of the border,” said Ellsworth, “both for the officers who are working to patrol the borders and for the people that live in the vicinity, members of the community.”

She said Rankin’s initial asking price for the maps was $10,000. It’s not known how Rankin got the government documents, as Ellsworth said authorities were told several stories.

“It certainly was a concern that Mr. Rankin had those materials, and the United States Border Patrol has responded to those concerns, and addressed as many of them as they can at this point.”

Rankin was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Ellsworth said the man was shopping the maps around to his criminal associates in August and September of last year.