US soldier sentenced to prison in Alaska espionage case

April 16, 2013 11:35

ANCHORAGE - A US soldier was sentenced to 19 years in prison for attempted espionage and related charges after he admitted to trying to pass on classified information to someone he believed was a Russian agent, federal officials said.

Army Specialist William Colton Millay, 24, was sentenced late on Monday after a military hearing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, where he was stationed when he was arrested in October 2011.

Millay was detained after making what prosecutors said were overtures to a woman he believed was representing the Russian government. The woman was actually an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials said.

The native of Owensboro, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in March to attempted espionage, failing to obey regulations, issuing a false statement, soliciting another to commit espionage and communicating national defense information.

Although he was sentenced to 19 years in prison, he will serve 16 years under a plea agreement, with time served in pre-trial confinement taken into account, federal officials said. He was also demoted to private and will receive a dishonorable discharge, federal officials said.

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