Navy Petty Officer Accused of Engaging in Espionage

US Navy Officer Accused of Engaging in Espionage

( – An officer with the US Navy is facing serious charges after allegedly committing an act of espionage while serving in Japan.

Petty Officer Bryce Pedicini, who works as a fire controlman at the Yokosuka base, allegedly sent documents to someone in Hampton Roads, VA, who was employed by another nation’s government on seven occasions in 2022 and 2023. Some included pictures of computer screens displaying classified documents.

Officials believe his intention was to benefit another country’s government at the expense of the United States. The potential fallout is considered a national security threat in the charge sheet. Officials have not released details about the contents of the documents or which nation the recipient worked for.

Pedicini is also facing charges for failing to report a potentially dangerous contact to the military.

The Navy confirmed that a sailor was removed from the USS Higgins destroyer in Japan to be investigated and face court proceedings, which have reportedly already begun.

According to records, Pedicini enlisted in the Navy in 2009 and has been assigned to several US destroyers. He became a chief in 2022.

Espionage has been on the rise, especially as the United States and China continue to wage an “espionage war” in light of heightened global tensions. FBI officials have expressed belief in the past that the popular social media platform TikTok could be used by the Chinese government to gather intel on US citizens and officials. There have been attempts at state and local levels to ban it, but they have largely been unsuccessful. Both nations have also been rapidly developing AI technologies that can aid during warfare.

Nearly 1,500 spies were apprehended in the US between 1990 and 2019, according to CATO Institute. Of them, 583 were originally born in the United States. Others came from other nations such as Russia, Iran, Taiwan, China, and Mexico.

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