NewsLocal News

Actions

Ex-Army Green Beret gets 15 years for Russian espionage

PeterDebbins.jpg
Posted at 2:14 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 14:14:28-04

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- A former Army Green Beret who admitted divulging military secrets to Russia over a 15-year period has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

Forty-six-year-old Peter Debbins of Gainesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty in November to a federal Espionage Act charge.

The sentenced he received Friday in federal court in Alexandria was largely in line with prosecutors' recommendation, and far longer than the 5-year term sought by the defense.

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

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