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A sailor recently based in Hampton Roads charged with espionage

Department of Defense
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center’s Dynamic is towed from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story to Lyons Shipyard in Norfolk for scheduled maintenance.

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Chief Petty Officer Bryce Pedicini is in San Diego awaiting court martial on 21 counts related to espionage and mishandling of classified information.

Pedicini is charged with giving classified information to an agent of a foreign government. Most of the incidents happened while Pedicini was a student at the Surface Combat Systems Training Command at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center in Norfolk.

He was stationed there from February 2022 until he was assigned to the USS Higgins in April 2023. The sailor was taken into custody last week while he was assigned to the destroyer in Japan.

He was charged Jan. 18 in San Diego. The three pages of charges do not name the documents that the Navy believes Pedicini transferred to a foreign agent.

The Navy is also accusing him of photographing screens of the SIPR computer system — the Navy’s version of the internet used to transmit classified communications. Pedicini is also charged with keeping classified information in an unclassified setting.

The Navy accuses the sailor of communicating several times with a person and exchanging multiple classified documents. The name of the foreign country Pedicini is accused of working with is not listed in the documents.

“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,” said Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, spokesperson for the Naval Surface Force.

Before being assigned to Norfolk, Pedicini was a student at AEGIS Training and Readiness Center Dahlgren beginning in July 13, 2021. AEGIS is the Navy’s advanced computer guidance system. The software controls both offensive weapons and a ship’s defensive capabilities. His job title has been "Chief Fire Controlman AEGIS" since August 2022.

Pedicci, originally from Tennessee, joined the Navy in 2008.

This is the third espionage case the Navy's brought in the past year. In August, two other sailors were arrested and charged in a San Diego federal court with transmitting classified information to China.

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