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Navy chief petty officer who worked at StratCom charged with leaking secrets to Russian contact

Navy chief petty officer who worked at StratCom charged with leaking secrets to Russian contact

StratCom Strategic Command teaser (copy)

U.S. Strategic Command Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base.

A Navy chief petty officer who formerly worked at U.S. Strategic Command faces court-martial in Virginia on charges that he leaked classified information to a Russian national, Navy officials disclosed Thursday.

Chief Petty Officer Charles T. Briggs served as an information systems technician at Offutt Air Force Base from April 2018 to July 2019, according to Navy documents. He has been held since August 2019 at a Navy brig in Virginia near his last duty station at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

Briggs is accused of sending an email containing classified information to a Russian national “with reason to believe the information could be used to injure the United States or benefit a foreign nation” while working at Offutt in January 2019, according to a charge sheet.

Other charges include:

  • Relaying U.S. national defense information to a Russian national from October 2018 to January 2019.
  • Obstructing justice by telling the Russian national about an ongoing investigation into their relationship in January and February 2019.
  • Failing to disclose on a security clearance questionnaire about whether he had maintained a “close and continuing relationship” with a noncitizen.
  • Lying on a leave-request form by falsely claiming he would be staying in Nebraska during an 11-day leave in late 2018.
  • Violating a general regulation by failing to report a monthlong trip to Serbia in December 2018.
  • Failing to report connections to Italian and Russian nationals.
  • Possession of and attempting to view child pornography.

Briggs, who is originally from Wisconsin, enlisted in the Navy in October 1998. If convicted, he could face up to 64 years of confinement and a dishonorable discharge.

A trial date hasn’t yet been set, a Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman said.

StratCom officials referred questions to the Navy. Briggs’ civilian attorney, Frank J. Spinner, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Photos: Offutt Air Force Base through the years, 402-444-1186

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