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Japan-based US Navy chief charged with espionage

A US Navy chief stationed in Japan has been charged with espionage and communicating defense information to a foreign citizen.

A U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Japan is charged with espionage and communicating defense information to a foreign citizen. 

Chief Petty Officer Fire Controlman Bryce Pedicini, assigned to the Japan-based guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins, is accused of smuggling classified information and giving the information to an employee of a foreign government between November 2022 and February 2023 in Hampton Roads, Virginia

Charging documents obtained by Fox News Digital allege Pedicini also tried to pass photos off a computer that handles classified information to a foreign national while stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. 


Pedicini was arrested shortly after the attempted espionage was discovered. He’s been in pre-trial confinement since May 2023 and was set to have a hearing in San Diego on Wednesday. 

"A sailor assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) is suspected of mishandling classified documents and information," a U.S. Naval Surface Force spokesperson told Fox News Digital. "The incident remains under investigation and legal proceedings continue." 

Originally from Tennessee, Pedicini enlisted in the Navy in 2008 and advanced to chief in 2022, according to his service record. He previously served on the USS McFaul and the USS Curtis Wilbur before reporting to the USS Higgins last year.

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