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Retired U.S. Navy Specialist Found Guilty Of Attempted Spying For Russia

Robert Patrick Hoffman II, spent most of his two-decade career in the U.S. Navy working as a cryptographic technician on submarine technology.
A retired U.S. Navy submarine specialist has been found guilty of attempted espionage for Russia.

A federal jury in the state of Virginia found Robert Patrick Hoffman II, 40, guilty on August 21 of providing classified information to individuals whom he believed were Russian handlers.

The handlers were actually FBI operatives.

The local "Virginian-Pilot" newspaper reports that jurors took just 90 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict and reject Hoffman's defense that he was actually trying to lure the would-be Russian agents into a trap.

The prosecution said that top-secret details on how the U.S. Navy tracks its own submarines and foreign warships were among the information Hoffman thought he was handing over to Russia.

The FBI apparently became interested in Hoffman after he traveled to Belarus in late 2011, shortly after retiring from the navy.

He has claimed that he met President Alyaksandr Lukashenka during his stay.

It is not immediately clear how the trip ties in with Hoffman's attempted espionage.

He will be sentenced in December and faces possible life in prison.
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