NORFOLK, Va. – A sailor accused of stealing a Navy laptop computer and peddling its classified contents to an undisclosed foreign government pleaded guilty Monday to espionage, desertion and other charges.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann, 22, of Salem, Oregon, faces a sentence of life in prison without parole, a dishonorable discharge from the Navy and forfeiture of all pay.
Under a plea agreement, Weinmann pleaded guilty to one of three counts of espionage and one count each of desertion, failing to properly safeguard and store classified information, copying classified information, communicating classified information to a person not entitled to receive it, and stealing and destroying a government computer.
Weinmann pleaded guilty to trying to transmit classified information related to national defense to a representative of a foreign government on Oct. 19, 2005, while he was in or near Vienna, Austria.
He pleaded not guilty to a count of espionage for trying to give classified information to an agent of a foreign government in March 2005 in Bahrain and a third count to trying to deliver confidential information on March 19, 2006, in Mexico City.