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US sailor convicted of attempted espionage by military court

The U.S. Navy chief petty officer was convicted for failure to obey a lawful order among other charges along with an attempted espionage charge.
US sailor convicted of attempted espionage by military court
Posted at 4:47 PM, Apr 20, 2024

A military court found U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bryce Pedicini guilty of attempted espionage after he is accused of sharing classified defense information with a foreign government.  

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service said Pedicini was also convicted for attempted violation of a lawful general order and for failure to obey a lawful order. NCIS said in their release that a seven-day trial found Pedicini — who previously served on a guided-missile destroyer in Japan — guilty at a general court martial on Friday.  

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NCIS Director Omar Lopez said, "This guilty verdict holds Mr. Pedicini to account for his betrayal of his country and fellow service members."

Lopez said, "Adversaries of the United States are unrelenting in their attempts to degrade our military superiority."

The military court said Pedicini's sentencing would be determined by a military judge, scheduled for a hearing on May 7. 

An unidentified person who posed as a Japanese defense researcher is said to have contacted Pedicini through Facebook on Oct. 24, 2022 offering money for details on U.S. military capabilities and strategies. 

Court records said Pedicini worked with "everything from radars, fire control systems and computer systems, to the Navy's most advanced missile system, Aegis," Stars and Stripes reported

The individual, who was identified as a woman, reportedly convinced Pedicini to send classified materials on a ballistic missile system, according to Prosecutor Leah O'Brien. 

Pedicini is said to have received an initial payment of $50, and then another for $1,000 for the documents. Scripps News San Diego reported that Pedicini's defense attorneys argued that he was just copying and pasting material from Google. Prosecutors said he used a burner phone and the discreet messaging app Telegram to hide his communications. 

Pedicini made no comment to Scripps News San Diego who were waiting for him as he left a courtroom at the Naval Base San Diego on April 16 after a hearing in the case. 

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