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Va ex-sailor pleads not guilty to espionage charge

Wednesday - 5/15/2013, 3:03pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. -- A former sailor has pleaded not guilty to additional charges that he passed top secret documents to individuals he believed represented the Russian government.

Robert Patrick Hoffman of Virginia Beach entered his plea Wednesday in federal court in Norfolk.

Hoffman was charged with attempted espionage in December. Earlier this month, prosecutors filed a superseding indictment. The superseding indictment says Hoffman attempted to hand over top secret documents that warned of U.S. capabilities to track foreign ships.

Previously, Hoffman was charged with only passing along secret documents that detailed how to track U.S. submarines. The indictment says Hoffman actually delivered the information to the FBI, which was conducting an undercover operation.

Hoffman was a cryptologic technician in the Navy. He retired in November 2011.

A trial is set for June 17.


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