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Sailor Gets 34 Years in Prison in Espionage Case

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  • Sailor Gets 34 Years in Prison in Espionage Case

    NORFOLK -- Bryan Minkyu Martin, the Navy intelligence specialist convicted of attempted espionage, said Friday that he was "blinded by greed" when he sold classified documents to a man he believed was a Chinese spy.

    A military judge Friday sentenced Martin to 34 years in prison a day after he pleaded guilty to 11 charges. The judge also issued Martin a dishonorable discharge.

    Just before being sentenced at the military court at Norfolk Naval Station, prosecutors played about three hours of surveillance tape showing Martin and a man he knew only as Mr. Lee, actually an undercover FBI agent, exchanging cash for classified information on four occasions last year at motels near Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

    In the last scene of the last tape, two armed men with bullet-proof vests burst into the room and threw Martin against the wall, handcuffing him. Martin could be seen trying to hide the cash he was just given.

    The undercover agent paid Martin $11,500 total in exchange for three packets of documents containing information about current naval operations and intelligence assessments, including photos, satellite images and details about U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    "My bosses are very pleased," the agent told Martin.

    Martin acknowledged in court that he had betrayed his country but said he does not hate the United States.

    "My soul was blinded by greed," he said.

    "I am filled with remorse and self-loathing," he continued. "I was arrogant and greedy and selfish."

    He then turned to his parents sitting behind him and wept as he apologized to them. His parents adopted him from South Korea and raised him in the small town of Mexico in upstate New York.

    Martin, a 22-year-old reservist, was officially assigned to the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach. Until Friday, he was a petty officer second class working as an intelligence specialist.

    Last fall, he was at Fort Bragg getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. Military prosecutors would not reveal to whom Martin initially reached out or how he connected with the undercover agent.

    In the first surveillance video, Martin tells the undercover agent that his personal finances "haven't worked out" and that he needed "long-term" extra income. He also said he was engaged.

    In that first meeting, Martin offered secret and top secret documents and images on Afghanistan and the Taliban, North Korea, Russia and China, even asking whether there was a difference in compensation between information on Afghanistan and China.

    "I know exactly what I'm getting into," Martin said. Martin received $500 from the agent that day.

    "If you can do what you say you can do, you will not be poor," the agent told Martin. "I'm very happy that you called."

    At the next meeting, Martin handed over documents and received $1,500. At the third meeting, Martin received the same amount but asked for between $7,000 and $10,000. Martin also chose his own code name: Harrington. The biggest payment was the last, for $8,000.

    By avoiding a trial, Martin agreed to serve 34 years in prison. The military judge, Capt. Moira Modzelewski, initially sentenced Martin to 48 years but suspended 14 years because of the pre-trial agreement. He could have gotten life.

  • #2
    Re: Sailor Gets 34 Years in Prison in Espionage Case

    Good riddance. He makes us younger 20's fellows look bad.

    He got lucky with a sentance.

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    • #3
      Re: Sailor Gets 34 Years in Prison in Espionage Case

      Originally posted by Teuvil View Post
      Good riddance. He makes us younger 20's fellows look bad.

      He got lucky with a sentance.
      Couldn't he get the death penalty for this? If so why don't they ever use that anymore?

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      • #4
        Re: Sailor Gets 34 Years in Prison in Espionage Case

        He can that's why he got lucky with his sentence and I assume they don't use it due to widespread hateful publicity.

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