Monday, April 15, 2013

Army Spc. William Colton Millay Pleads Guilty To Espionage-Related Charges, Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison

On March 19th, 2013, U.S. Army Spc. William Colton Millay pleaded guilty to attempted espionage, soliciting another to commit espionage, failing to obey regulations, issuing a false statement and communicating national defense information. And on April 15th, 2013, his sentence was pronounced by an eight-soldier panel of officers: 16 years in prison with a credit for 535 days of pre-trial incarceration, reduction to private (E-1), forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and dishonorable discharge. Stories published by KTUU Channel 2, and the Anchorage Daily News, which reported on Millay's connection with the National Socialist Movement. WFIE Channel 14 provides coverage from near Millay's home of record in Owensboro, KY.

Millay, who was a member of the 164th Military Police Company, 793rd Military Police Battalion, 2nd Engineer Brigade at JBER-Richardson, was arrested on Friday October 28th, 2011 at JBER Richardson by special agents from the Army counterintelligence service and the Army Criminal Investigation Command. After being charged, he proclaimed his innocence. But the full story didn't come out until after he finally pleaded guilty in March of this year. Back in 2011, Millay was allegedly upset over the fact that he was not chosen to deploy to Afghanistan with the rest of his unit in March 2011, being assigned to the company's stay-behind rear detachment instead. He was said to be fueled by a blend of greed and disillusionment with the U.S. government. So he offered to sell classified information to get revenge. He sent an e-mail to a Russian publication seeking information about the military and made several calls to the Russian embassy, which attracted the attention of the FBI, who assigned an undercover agent to contact him.

When the FBI agent contacted Millay and asked what he had to offer, he said he had information on the sensitive Warlock Duke electronic equipment placed on military vehicles to remotely detonate improvised explosive devices before U.S. troops drove over them. After an arrangement was reached, Millay made a "dead drop" in a trash can at the Valley of the Moon Park in Midtown Anchorage on October 21st, 2011. The Anchorage Daily News reports that Millay deposited information on F-22s and the jamming system in a garbage can at the park. FBI agents subsequently took the entire trash bag from the can, containing materials Millay meant to pass on to Russia. At a payment meeting set up by the FBI, Millay received $3,000 in cash and an AT&T Go phone in the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Just before Millay was arrested, FBI agents conducted a search of his property, finding two handguns, detailed instructions on how to use a Russian Internet phone service, literature from the National Socialist Movement (NSM), and additional notes taken during his contacts with the FBI’s “Russian agent.” During the entire investigation, Millay's GCI phone account was monitored by the FBI. Millay is also said to have two SS thunderbolt tattoos under his biceps and spider web tattoos, both of which are usually associated with skinheads.

The prosecution argued for a 25-year sentence, saying that Millay was steeped in hate for the U.S. government, and also playing up his racist tattoos and his flirtation with the NSM. They also claimed that said jailhouse recordings show Millay threatens to continue to divulge secrets. In contrast, the defense argued for an eight-year sentence, saying that would be punitive enough and would provide time for rehabilitation. To support their case, the defense cited testimony by Dr. Veronica Harris, a psychiatrist, who said Millay had the emotional capability of a 5-year-old and suffers from low self-esteem, mild depression, alcoholism and narcissism. Millay attempted to help his cause by apologizing in court.

Looks like the court found the prosecution a bit more credible. The man gets pissed off about not going to war, and ruins his life. He'll be 40 years old when he's released, and he'll have to start all over at the bottom. And a dishonorable discharge is a federal conviction.

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