VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A former Navy sailor charged with espionage pleaded not guilty in Norfolk Federal Court Wednesday morning.
Robert Hoffman denies what the indictment alleges, accusing him of attempted espionage.
His attorney, James Broccoletti, says, "He pleaded not guilty. He is convinced of his innocence and looks forward to his day in court." Broccoletti says Hoffman will pursue a vigorous defense.
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 in early December for handing over top-secret information to FBI officials posing as Russians, allegedly on three separate occasions.
On Dec. 11, Hoffman was denied bond in court. The federal judge called him a "danger to society".
The judge said Hoffman's sole benefit in the case is that he has no criminal history.
Because of the serious nature of the charges, Hoffman is represented by federal public defender Keith Kimball and criminal attorney James Broccoletti. The government has stated they will not seek the death penalty.
A trial date has been tentatively set for June 17.
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