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Japan-based US Navy master accused of espionage

Japan-based US Navy master accused of espionage


Washington — A Navy sailor based in Japan has been charged with espionage by the U.S. military for allegedly giving classified information to a foreign government employee.

Bryce Pedicini, a fire control chief petty officer, is accused of providing documents to a foreign government employee at least seven times between November 2022 and February 2023 in Hampton Roads, Virginia, according to an indictment obtained by CBS News.

In May 2023, in Yokosuka, Japan, he attempted to smuggle photographs showing the screen of a computer connected to the classified army network.

Bryce Pedicini US Navy photo

He provided the information “with reason to believe that it would be used to the detriment of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation,” the indictment says, adding that it “relates to the National Defense”. It is not clear which documents he transmitted or to which nation. Pedicini is also accused of failing to report a foreign contact and soliciting classified information from an unauthorized person.

The Navy confirmed Wednesday that a sailor assigned to the Japan-based destroyer USS Higgins was under investigation and that legal action was underway.

“A Sailor assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) is suspected of mishandling classified documents and information. The incident remains under investigation and legal proceedings continue. continue,” said Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesperson for the US Naval Surface Force, said in a statement.

Pedicini's U.S. Navy service records indicate he enlisted in 2009 and served on several destroyers. He was promoted to chief in 2022.

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