Former Va. sailor convicted of attempted espionage

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Associated Press

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 5:41 PM

NORFOLK -- After less than 90 minutes, a federal jury found Retired Petty Officer 1st Class Robert P. Hoffman II guilty of attempted espionage Wednesday.

The former sailor claimed he gave classified information to what he believed were Russian spies in an attempt to catch them.

Hoffman spent much of his 20-year Navy career on submarines. While serving in the Navy, Hoffman held security clearances that granted him access to classified and national defense information relating to programs and operations in which he participated. 

After a trip to Eastern Europe in 2011, the FBI sent Hoffman a letter purporting to be from Russian intelligence officers asking him to provide "technical expertise." Hoffman made three drops in all, including one in which he provided information about how to track American submarines.

Hoffman then approached the FBI in Norfolk and gave agents a diary and other evidence.

Hoffman faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on December 2.

 

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