Chief Information Systems Technician Charles T. Briggs is facing some 64 years in prison if convicted of all the charges brought against him, which include transmitting classified information to a Russian national “with reason to believe the information could be used to injure the United States or benefit a foreign nation,” according to the charge sheet obtained by the Navy Times.
Though Briggs is now stationed at Virginia’s Navy Medical Center Portsmouth, the alleged transfer occurred in January 2019, while he was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, where US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is located.
However, the charges don’t stop there. Other accusations include a second document transfer to a Russian national between October 2018 and January 2019 and lying on several security clearance questionnaires about not having a “close and continuing relationship” with someone who isn’t a US citizen or who requested future contact.
He is also charged with obstructing justice for allegedly telling his Russian contact about an “ongoing investigation into their relationship” in January and February 2019.
Two more items Briggs is charged with are unclear in their relationship to the others. One charge is that he lied on a leave request form in November 2018, saying he would not leave Nebraska during the 11-day leave period, when he actually booked a flight to Serbia for a month. The second mysterious charge alleges that Briggs possessed child pornography images.
The Navy Times noted the names of all Russian persons involved were redacted on the copy of the charges given to the outlet, so it’s unknown just how many people are involved other than Briggs.
The Virginian-Pilot reported Briggs had been detained in pretrial confinement last month. Born in Wisconsin, Briggs joined the US Navy in 1998 and made the rank of chief petty officer in 2013.