JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — An Alaska-based military policeman was sentenced to 16 years in prison and will receive a dishonorable discharge for selling military secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as a Russian spy, a military panel decided.
A panel of eight military members from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage recommended a 19-year sentence for Specialist William Colton Millay, but that was dropped to 16 years because of a pretrial agreement. He will receive credit for the 535 days he's been jailed since his Oct. 28, 2011, arrest. The panel also reduced him in rank to private and he will forfeit all pay and allowances.
The 24-year-old Millay pleaded guilty last month to attempted espionage and other counts. A sentencing panel of male military members heard the testimony on Monday.
Military prosecutors painted Millay as a white supremacist who was fed up with the Army and the United States and was willing to sell secrets to an enemy agent, even if that would cost his fellow soldiers their lives. Defense attorneys said Millay was emotionally stunted, was only seeking attention and was a candidate for rehabilitation.
FBI Special Agent Derrick Chriswell said Millay came to their attention in the summer of 2011 through an anonymous tip after Millay sent an e-mail to a Russian publication seeking information about the military and made several calls to the Russian embassy.
"That's a concern for national security," Chriswell said.
The FBI, working with military intelligence agencies, conducted the investigation. On Sept. 13, 2011, an FBI undercover agent called Millay and set up a meeting the next day at an Anchorage hotel restaurant.
Chriswell testified that during the first meeting with the agent that day, Millay "expressed his disgust with the U.S. military." They then moved to the agent's hotel room, where audio and video recording devices were in place.
Millay said he would work for the Russian government, and if they made it worth his while, he would re-enlist for a second five-year stint. He also said he had confidential information on the Warlock Duke jamming system the U.S. military uses to sweep roadside bombs.
He was arrested Oct. 28 after a sting operation. A search of his barracks found two handguns, detailed instructions on how to use a Russian Internet phone service and literature from the white supremacist organization, the National Socialists Movement.
Chriswell also testified that Millay has two Nazi SS thunderbolt tattoos under his biceps and spider web tattoos, which he said was common among racists in prison.
"He branded himself in their symbols of hate," military prosecutor Capt. Stewart Hyderkhan said in his closing statement, arguing for a sentence of at least 25 years in prison. "He had hate for the Army. He had hate for the United States."
Swift, Millay's attorney, argued that the Nazi movement and Russia do not exactly have a lot in common, and that Millay had once been married to a Filipino.