A 22-year-old native of the Oswego County Town of Mexico is at the center of an Navy espionage scandal at Fort Bragg. Federal and military investigators say Naval Reserve Intelligence Specialist Bryan Minkyu Martin sold classified documents to an undercover FBI Agent last month.
A n American flag flies outside his family's home on Route 3 north of the village of Mexico, but no one answered a knock at the door. The home was recently searched by federal agents who reportedly confiscated computer disks, phone records, tax returns, video tapes and a digital camera.
A ccording to documents filed in North Carolina Federal District Court , while stationed at Fort Bragg, Martin told an FBI agent posing as a "foreign intelligence officer" he could be a source of information over the next 20 years. Martin allegedly accepted a total of $3,500 from the undercover agent. In exchange, Martin handed over 53 documents on two separate occasions. Some of the papers were marked "secret" and others marked "top secret."
B ryan Martin graduated from Oswego County BOCES in 2006, where he excelled in computer programming. Martin joined the Navy, where he excelled in computer programming. Martin joined the Navy 2006 and was stationed at military facilities in Syracuse, Jackson, South Carolina, San Diego, Washington D.C. and Fort Bragg. He received a top secret level security clearance in 2007.
F amily friend and neighbor Shirley Schneider said she was shocked by the allegations against a "nice boy" Schnieder described his parents as friendly nice and "very close to their son." She said Martin had his sights set on joining the Navy. She said he was "proud" to be in the Navy but "doesn't talk very much about what goes on."
B ryan Martin has not been charged with any crimes. He's been transferred to a Navy jail in Norfolk, Virginia while the espionage investigation continues. A spokesman for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service says no classified information was delivered to anyone not authorized to see it.
A U.S. Navy sailor stationed at Fort Bragg passed classified documents to someone he thought was a foreign intelligence agent in exchange for cash, according to a federal search warrant.
Navy Reserve Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Minkyu Martin of Mexico, N.Y., was arrested last week but has not been charged, according to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Martin, 22, is being held in the naval brig in Norfolk, Va., while the investigation continues.
Paul O'Donnell, a spokesman for the NCIS, said investigators were confident no classified information was actually delivered to anyone not authorized to see it.
According to a warrant filed in Eastern District Court in North Carolina, Martin accepted a total of $3,500 from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for dozens of pages of documents that were classified either secret or top secret.
In the initial Nov. 15 meeting with the undercover agent, at a Hampton Inn near Fort Bragg, Martin told the agent his current assignment focused on Afghanistan, and that he would one day work for the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the warrant.
"Martin stated that over his prospective 15 to 20 year career, he could be very valuable," the warrant says.
Martin was paid $500, along with the promise of more money in exchange for secret documents, according to the warrant. At two subsequent meetings, Martin handed over documents in exchange for two payments of $1,500 in cash, for which he signed a receipt using a code name, the warrant says.
It could not be immediately determined if Martin has a lawyer. A phone number listed for his parents in New York was busy and then rang unanswered.
Martin enlisted in the Navy in 2006 and received a top secret-level security clearance the following year. Before coming to Fort Bragg in September, he was stationed at military facilities in Syracuse, N.Y., Jackson, S.C., San Diego and Washington, D.C.
According to court documents, investigators seized a laptop computer, a digital audio recorder, a cell phone and unspecified file folders from the hotel on Fort Bragg where Martin was living.
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