US Navy Officer Charged With Espionage

A U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Japan faces charges of espionage for allegedly divulging classified information to a foreign government employee.

Bryce Pedicini, serving as a chief petty officer fire controlman aboard the USS Higgins in Japan, stands accused of sharing classified data multiple times between November 2022 and February 2023, as per a charge sheet disclosed by USNI News.

The document alleges that Pedicini had reason to believe that the divulged information would harm the United States while benefiting a foreign nation. Although the charge sheet does not specify the foreign government involved, it indicates that Pedicini attempted to share photographs capturing secret information displayed on a computer screen.

Following his arrest in May 2023, Pedicini was transferred to San Diego, where he remains in pretrial confinement.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Naval Surface Forces confirmed the investigation into a sailor from the USS Higgins, adding that the incident involves mishandling classified documents and information.

Pedicini enlisted in the Navy in 2008 and served aboard the USS McFaul and USS Curtis Wilbur before joining the USS Higgins. In a separate incident in August, two Navy personnel faced charges of providing classified information to China. Wenheng Zhao pleaded guilty and received a 27-month prison sentence, while Jinchao Wei pleaded not guilty, and his case is ongoing.