Monday, April 11, 2016

Navy officer charged with espionage in military court at Norfolk Naval Station

The Virginian-Pilot reports -- A Navy officer assigned to a patrol and reconnaissance group has been charged in military court with two counts of espionage, punishable by the death penalty under certain conditions.
The lieutenant commander is being held at the brig in Chesapeake and appeared at the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing at Norfolk Naval Station on Friday, according to the Navy. The officer’s identity has not been released, and charge sheets detailing his alleged crimes were heavily redacted.
The charge sheets say the officer communicated secret information “relating to the national defense to representatives of a foreign government.” The documents do not specify what information was provided, when it was provided or which nation it was provided to.
The officer belongs to a unit that provides airborne anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations from planes such as the P-8A Poseidon, P-3C Orion and unmanned MQ-4C Triton. The command is headquartered at Hampton Roads Naval Support Activity in Norfolk, although it’s not clear whether he was stationed there.
The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force is organized into three air wings at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
The officer also is charged with three counts of attempted espionage, three counts of making false official statements, five counts of communicating defense information, prostitution-patronizing, adultery and multiple violations of a lawful general order and failure to obey a lawful order. 
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