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.
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