A sailor facing espionage and desertion charges has been held at a Norfolk, Virginia, brig since March, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday.
Ariel Weinmann, 21, is suspected of having worked on behalf of Russia, said military sources close to the case.
He was likely to have had access to technical manuals and other material on how submarine systems work, Navy sources said. It's not believed that anyone else in the Navy worked with him, they said.
The fire control technician third class, assigned to the submarine USS Albuquerque, attempted on three occasions to pass classified information to foreign agents, according to the charges against him.
Those times include March 2005 in Bahrain; October 2005 in Vienna, Austria; and March 2006 in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the charges.
In addition to the espionage allegations, Weinmann also faces desertion charges, which could result in the death penalty. He is accused of deserting in July 2005 during his first tour of duty.