US Sailor Sentenced for Trying to Give Away Nuclear Secrets and Defect to Russia

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
May 25, 2019USshare
US Sailor Sentenced for Trying to Give Away Nuclear Secrets and Defect to Russia
U.S. Navy officers on duty onboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier at Tien Sa Port in Danang, Vietnam on March 5, 2018. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

A sailor for the U.S. Navy was sentenced for attempting to give classified military information to journalists and then defect to Russia.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Kellogg III was arrested for attempting to give away information about the Navy’s nuclear-powered ships, Fox News reported. He was contacted by Russian shipbuilder Sevmash.

“This sailor’s attempts to disclose classified Navy nuclear propulsion information posed a significant threat to national security and endangered the lives of American service members,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Garrett Waugh said via Fox News.

The authorities were alerted to Kellogg’s plan after he was arrested at a San Diego Airport for drunken disorderly conduct, according to Fox News. A Delta Airlines worker stopped him from getting on a flight to New York.

The FBI discovered that Kellogg searched online for flights to Moscow and for the San Francisco Russian consulate’s contact information, Fox News reported.

Kellogg was sentenced on May 17 to three years of confinement, the FBI reported. He pleaded guilty to charges that relate to the illegal communication of national defense information. Also accompanying the sentence are a dishonorable discharge from the Navy and a drop in rank.

During Kellogg’s time serving aboard the USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered warship, he had access to
classified information about many aspects of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion systems, the FBI reported.

Kellogg admitted that his attempt to board a flight to New York was for the purpose of delivering classified information to a journalist, so that the journalist would report on it and get the information out to the public.

Kellogg also admitted telling his roommate he planned to defect to Russia, according to the FBI. He also admitted taking photos of classified information about the vessel, and sending them to his father and ex-girlfriend. Neither of them have the needed security clearance or a reason to have such information.

“This sailor’s attempts to disclose classified Navy nuclear propulsion information posed a significant threat to national security and endangered the lives of American service members,” said Special Agent in Charge Garrett Waugh, via the FBI report.

The 26-year-old was investigated by both the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

“The FBI is committed to protecting the nation’s critical assets, advanced technologies and sensitive information in the defense sector against all counterintelligence threats.” said Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “As demonstrated by this case, the FBI works closely with NCIS to investigate and prosecute those military members who intentionally risk our national security and violate the oath they took to protect our nation.”

Kellogg’s Facebook profile says he is from Buffalo, New York, and lives in San Diego, California. It says he works as an “EMN2 Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear)” in the Navy.

Kellogg’s father tweeted about his son on Twitter. He posted a video of his son getting assigned to the USS Vinson nuclear ship, during a Navy ceremony.

“My Son… off to serve our country running a Nuclear Reactor aboard the USS Carl Vinson Aircraft Carrier,” Kellogg’s father, Stephen Kellogg, Jr., wrote along with the video, via Twitter.

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