Military Court Charges Naval Officer with Espionage

A Navy Lieutenant Commander has been charged with two counts of espionage and other charges. The Navy has not officially released his identify, although some media outlets are reporting a name. We prefer to wait for an official release before naming anyone.

The officer is being held at the brig in Chesapeake and on the 8th of April appeared at a preliminary hearing at Norfolk Naval Station. Charge sheets detailing his alleged crimes have been heavily redacted.

What is known is that the officer was assigned to a patrol and reconnaissance group that provides airborne anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The command is headquartered in Norfolk at the Hampton Roads Naval Support Activity. The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force is organized into three air wings stationed in Florida, Washington, and Hawaii.

EspionageWhile the charge sheets did not contain many details, they did report that the officer is accused of communicating secret information “relating to the national defense to representatives of a foreign government.” The officer was also 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.

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a service member is eligible for the death penalty for espionage if found “guilty of an offense that directly concerns nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large scale attack, war plans, communications intelligence or cryptographic information, or any other major weapons system or major element of defense strategy.”

Information not redacted on the charge sheets report that the officer failed to properly store classified material; wrongfully transported classified material, and failed to report the compromise of information classified as secret. He is also charged with failing to report foreign contacts, and also failing to sign a record that included foreign travel as well as giving a false address while on leave, “rather than the actual foreign destination.”

The case remains under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the FBI.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain
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