Washington, April 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A US military policeman based in Alaska has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and given a dishonourable discharge for selling US military secrets to someone he thought was a Russian spy.
The contact that Spec. William Colton Millay thought was a spy, was really an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, and the 24-year-old soldier was sentenced to prison by a panel of eight military officials at Fort-Richardson near Anchorage, Alaska.
An FBI special agent who testified at the hearing said Millay met an undercover FBI agent who he thought was a Russian spy at a hotel in Anchorage Sep 14, 2011, and told the agent he was fed up with the US military.
In a conversation in the FBI agent’s hotel room, where hidden cameras and audio recording devices had been set up, Millay offered to work for the Russian government and said he could obtain secret information on the Warlock Duke jamming system, which the US military developed to block signals that cause roadside bombs to go off.
The FBI said a little more than a month after that first meeting, Millay offered to sell information to the agent he believed to be a Russian spy.
On Oct 21, 2011, he dropped off an envelope containing information about the US military’s F-22 stealth fighter jet – many of which are based at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska – and the Warlock Duke jamming system in a garbage can for his “Russian” connection to pick up.
The young military policeman was told to drive to a hotel, where he collected $3,000 the FBI said. Millay was arrested a week after collecting the payment.
At the hearing, the prosecution called for at least 25 years in jail for Millay, and said the military policeman was a white supremacist who sported Nazi tattoos and had a stash of white supremacist literature in his on-base accommodation.
“He had hate for the Army. He had hate for the United States,” military prosecutor Capt. Stewart Hyderkhan said in his closing statement.
Defence witness Veronica Harris, a psychiatrist, testified that Millay had the emotional capacity of a five-year-old and suffered from low self-esteem, depression, alcoholism and narcissism.
Millay’s attorney, Charles Swift – who represented Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver – called for a lesser sentence, saying eight years would be enough to punish Millay and would provide sufficient time for rehabilitation.
“It’s absolutely my belief he’s not a white supremacist,” Swift told RIA Novosti, adding that Millay had fallen into an FBI sting operation.
“They introduced the agent and basically set up Millay,” he said.
Millay, who served in Iraq and earned an Army Achievement Medal, reportedly told the hearing that he knew he had “made a terrible mistake”.