Navy submariner will plead guilty in espionage case

Navy submariner will plead guilty in espionage case
Navy submariner will plead guilty in espionage case 

The Virginian-Pilot
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 
provide specifics.

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

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