VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A former Navy sailor charged with espionage was denied bond in court Tuesday and called a "danger to society" by a federal judge.
Robert Hoffman was a Petty Officer Cryptologic Technician (CT) in charge of tracking U.S. submarines and retired from the Navy last year.
He was arrested last week for handing over top-secret information to FBI officials posing as Russians, allegedly on three separate occasions.
According to U.S. Attorney's Robert Krask, the judge said the manner in which Hoffman transferred information to the "Russians" was through memory, without documents themselves. Krask feared if freed, Hoffman would make top-secret information public again.
Hoffman allegedly delivered top-secret information to the "Russians," telling them his "suggestions will benefit you (Russians), and you will become a better Navy," according to Krask.
Hoffman then alleged he went to the FBI Oct. 31 after the three "dead drops" with the "Russians." Hoffman then said he allegedly would work with the FBI.
"It could be entrapment by FBI agents who pursued Hoffman to do what they said he did," Hoffman's federal public defender Keith Kimball said. "The events, the circumstances set up by the FBI. I am not going to say we will set up a defense of entrapment at the point."
The judge said Hoffman's sole benefit in the case is that he has no criminal history.
Because the charges against Hoffman are very serious, Hoffman is represented by Kimball and criminal attorney James Broccoletti. The government hsa stated they will not seek the death penalty due to the totality of evidence.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.