By TIM MCGLONE
November 28, 2006
NORFOLK - A Navy submariner accused of espionage and desertion has
agreed to plead guilty next Monday before a military judge, forgoing a
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann was scheduled for a
court-martial next week but will instead plead guilty in a Norfolk Naval
Station court to some of the six charges against him, Weinmann's
civilian attorney said Monday.
"Pre trial negotiations have been going on and have been met with some
success," said the attorney, Phillip Stackhouse of Jacksonville, N.C.
"A pre trial agreement has been signed."
Stackhouse declined to say which charges his client plans to plead
guilty to. Stackhouse said the plea agreement between Weinmann and the
Navy includes a maximum possible sentence but, again, declined to
Navy Mid-Atlantic Region spokeswoman Beth Baker would not comment on the
Weinmann, 21, of Salem, Ore., has been in the Norfolk Naval Station brig
since his arrest in March. He is charged with espionage, desertion,
failing to properly secure classified information, copying classified
information, communication of classified information to a foreign agent,
and stealing and destroying a laptop computer.
The Navy at one point had considered the death penalty against Weinmann
but rejected it for undisclosed reasons. The maximum punishment for
espionage under military code is life in prison.
Weinmann, a fire control technician who had been stationed aboard the
Connecticut-based submarine Albuquerque, was arrested March 26 at a
Dallas airport as he was re-entering the country from Mexico.
Navy officials have said in court that Weinmann was carrying $4,000 in
cash, three CD-ROMs and other computer equipment. He left his post in
July 2005 - while his sub was stationed in Bahrain - and is accused of
taking a Navy laptop with him.
The charges allege that Weinmann passed classified information to a
foreign government representative in Vienna, Austria, and Mexico City.
The Navy has not disclosed what information was passed, nor has the
foreign government officially been named.
News agencies, including CNN, have named Russia as the foreign
government, but Time magazine, citing anonymous military sources,
reported in August that the Navy had not confirmed Russia as having
received anything from Weinmann.
Efforts to reach Weinmann's family in Oregon were unsuccessful Monday.
* Reach Tim McGlone at (757) 446-2343 or tim.mcglone (at)
Copyright 2006 HamptonRoads.com/PilotOnline.com
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