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Ex-Army Green Beret to be sentenced for Russian espionage

Peter Debbins of Gainesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty in November to a federal Espionage Act charge.
Credit: Studio_East - stock.adobe.com

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former Army Green Beret who admitted divulging military secrets to Russia over a 15-year period is scheduled to be sentenced on espionage charges. 

Peter Debbins of Gainesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty in November to a federal Espionage Act charge. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday morning in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Debbins’ relationship with Russian intelligence dates back to 1996 and spanned 15 years. 

Prosecutors are seeking a 17-year term. Debbins’ lawyer is pressing for a lighter sentence. 

The lawyer argues that Debbins caused minimal damage and that Russian agents blackmailed Debbins by threatening to expose his same-sex attractions.

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