US Navy sailor in Japan convicted of attempted espionage and other charges

It is unclear which government Pedicini was accused of colluding with

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Higgins in the Arabian Gulf in 2015.
2nd Class Gabriel Bevan/via DVIDS

Following a seven-day trial, a U.S. Navy Sailor based in Japan was found guilty of attempted espionage for providing classified material to a foreign government and other related charges, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) said.

Bryce Pedicini, a chief petty officer fire controlman, was accused of passing documents to an employee of a foreign government at least seven times between Nov. 2022 and May 2023, according to a charge sheet obtained by NBC News.

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“This guilty verdict holds Mr. Pedicini to account for his betrayal of his country and fellow service members,” said NCIS Director Omar Lopez.

Pedicini was also found guilty of failing to obey a lawful order and attempted violation of a lawful general order. It is unclear which government Pedicini was accused of colluding with.

Pedicini was assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins and delivered multiple documents to an employee of a foreign government relating to “national defense,” according to the charge sheet filed by the Navy. 

The exact nature of the documents is unknown but Pedicini is also accused of smuggling photos of a computer screen designed for classified information to a foreign official while he was in Yokosuka, Japan last May.

The sailor had joined the Navy in 2009 and had served multiple naval ships and received awards throughout his career.

The U.S has accused China of carrying out extensive cyber attacks and an espionage campaign, which it refutes.

Pedicini's sentencing, determined by a military judge, is scheduled for May 7, 2024.

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