NewsAmerican Navy officer in Japan accused of spying

American Navy officer in Japan accused of spying

USS Higgins conducted a Taiwan Strait transit on Sept. 20, 2022. US Navy Photo
USS Higgins conducted a Taiwan Strait transit on Sept. 20, 2022. US Navy Photo
Images source: © United States Naval Institute
12:22 PM EST, February 22, 2024

According to a charge sheet acquired by USNI News on Wednesday, a sailor stationed on the USS Higgins (DDG-76), a guided-missile destroyer based in Japan, faces charges of espionage and transmitting defense information to a foreign national. Chief Petty Officer Fire Controlman Bryce Pedicini, who serves on the Japan-based destroyer, is scheduled for a general court-martial this week, as confirmed by Navy officials.

Accused of mishandling classified documents

In a statement from a U.S. Naval Surface Force spokesperson we can read: "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". The specific government that Pedicini allegedly collaborated with remains unknown.

According to NBC News, the details of the documents remain undisclosed, yet Pedicini faces accusations of illicitly conveying photographs of a computer screen intended for classified information to a foreign official during his time in Yokosuka, Japan, last May. Additionally, the Navy charges him with neglecting to disclose a foreign contact and bringing a personal electronic device into a secure area.

Espionge attempt

United States Naval Institute reports that, the charging documents reveal that Pedicini was apprehended shortly following the espionage attempt in Japan.

Beyond the charges of espionage and transmitting defense information, Pedicini is also accused of not disclosing foreign contacts to his superiors, not reporting attempts to solicit classified information, bringing a personal device into a secure area, and moving classified information.

Source: NBC News, United States Naval Institute

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