An unnamed active-duty Navy officer allegedly passed US military secrets to a foreign government
An unnamed active-duty Navy officer (not pictured) allegedly passed US military secrets to a foreign government (file photo)
An unnamed active-duty Navy officer has been charged with espionage and attempted espionage after allegedly passing US military secrets to a foreign government.
The officer, who holds the rank of lieutenant commander, was arrested eight months ago, but information about the national security case became pubic after a preliminary hearing on Friday.
The key parts of the charges have been redacted, but the available parts of the charging sheet say the officer is accused of espionage, illegally sharing secret information, falsifying records, prostitution, adultery and more.
The most serious charges he faces are two counts of espionage and three counts of attempted espionage.Other charges include one count of paying for a prostitute and another for adultery,as well as violations related to wrongly transporting material classified as secret and failing to report the compromised information.
He has also been charged with three counts of ‘false official statement’ for failing to report foreign travel and putting false information on documents.
It will later be determined if the charges will be referred to a court-marital. The officer was taken into custody at an airport in the US Pacific Command region while traveling to a foreign country, a US official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. The officer has been in pretrial confinement and is being held in a brig in Chesapeake, Virginia, the official said. It has not been revealed where the officer was based or how long he had been in the Navy. According to the charging sheet, the officer was assigned to Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which is a unit based in Norfolk, Virginia.
The redaction-filled charge sheet says he is accused of espionage, illegally sharing secret information, falsifying records, prostitution, adultery. Pictured above is a file photo of redacted information
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI are still investigating the case, the official told CNN. The Navy Officer’s name has not been released because the case has been designated as a national security case.
According to a manual of trying classified military cases, a national security case ‘involves the compromise of a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or terrorist group; involves an allegation of willful compromise of classified information, affects our military or defense capability to successfully resist hostile or destructive action, overt or covert; or involves an act of terrorism’. The cases are tried under an additional set of rules due to the sensitivity of the evidence, according to USNI.
The last major espionage incident by an active-duty Navy member was when John Walker, a Navy officer and submariner, passed military secrets to the Soviet Union for 18 years before he was caught in 1985.