Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

NORFOLK (AP) -- A former Navy sailor has been indicted by a federal grand jury for attempted espionage.

39-year-old Robert Patrick Hoffman of Virginia Beach was arrested on Thursday.

According to the indictment, Hoffman attempted to deliver classified documents in October 2011 to someone he believed was a representative of the Russian Federation.

The indictment says Hoffman actually delivered the information to the FBI, which was conducting an undercover operation.

The indictment states he tried to provide 'information classified as SECRET that revealed and pertained to methods to track U.S. submarines, including the technology and procedures required, with intent and reason to believe that such information was to be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage' of the Russian Federation, explained Peter Carr, spokesman for the US Attorney-Eastern District.

Carr says law enforcement officers conducted searches at Hoffman's home and storage facility. No information has been released released as to the findings.

One of Hoffman's Virginia Beach neighbors, Lynn Williams, describes him as 'different.'

'He is just kind of weird. He's not neighborly. He just isn't. One time my husband was out tilling up the front yard and he came over and asked if he could watch him,' said Williams.

Hoffman, who was born in Buffalo, N.Y.. served in the Navy for 20 years before he retired in November, 2011.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Hoffman held security clearances that granted him access to classified and national defense information relating to programs and operations in which he participated, and he repeatedly signed agreements to not disclose that sensitive information.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Read or Share this story: