Navy: Sailor contacted Russians, pleads guilty to espionage

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. sailor has pleaded guilty to two counts of espionage and sentenced to three years after admitting he took classified information about the Navy’s nuclear-powered warships and planned to give it to a journalist and then defect to Russia.

Jeff Houston of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS said Friday that U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Kellogg III wished to publish an expose on waste within the military and admitted he wanted to share the information with Russians.

According to Navy court documents, Kellogg was in contact with Sevmash, Russia’s largest shipbuilding enterprise. He admitted he knew releasing the information could degrade the ability of nuclear-powered warships, and therefore cause injury to the United States.

Neither Kellogg nor his lawyers could be immediately reached for comment.

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