US Navy submariner pleads guilty of espionage

A sailor accused of stealing a Navy laptop computer and peddling its classified contents to an undisclosed foreign government pleaded guilty Monday to espionage, desertion and other charges. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann, 22, of Salem, Oregon, was facing a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole as well as a dishonorable discharge from the Navy and forfeiture of all pay. The judge said he was not aware of what the plea agreement's maximum sentence was because he had not yet looked at it. If the sentence he imposes is greater than that in the agreement, which was signed off by the secretary of the Navy, it will be reduced; if it is less than the agreed-upon sentence, it will stand. Weinmann pleaded guilty to trying to transmit classified information related to national defense to a representative of a foreign government on Oct. 19, 2005, while he was in or near Vienna, Austria.