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Japan-based US Navy chief charged with espionage

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A U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Japan has been charged with espionage and communicating defense information to foreign nationals.

Chief Petty Officer Bryce Pedisini, a fire control officer assigned to the Japan-based guided missile destroyer USS Higgins, smuggled classified information in Hampton Roads, Virginia from November 2022 to February 2023 and passed the information on to foreign government officials. He is accused of providing the information to.

Bryce Pedicini alongside the USS Higgins. (US Navy)

According to charging documents obtained by Fox News Digital, Pedicini also claims that while he was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, he tried to give a foreign national photos from a computer that contained classified information.

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Mr. Pedicini was arrested shortly after the spying was discovered. He has been in pretrial confinement since May 2023 and was scheduled to have a hearing in San Diego on Wednesday.

“Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) are suspected of mishandling classified documents and information,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy Surface Command told Fox News Digital. “This incident remains under investigation and legal proceedings are ongoing.”

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Pedicini, a Tennessee native, joined the Navy in 2008 and was promoted to captain in 2022, according to his military record. He previously served on the USS McFall and his USS Curtis Wilbur, and last year on the USS Higgins.

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