A Culver City man who worked for a defense contractor was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for his guilty plea to economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act by selling sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be a Russian spy.
Gregory Allen Justice told an undercover investigator he was enamored with television spy thrillers such as “The Americans,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to court records, Justice, 49, pleaded guilty in May to charges stemming from an undercover sting operation in which he sold sensitive satellite information to an FBI agent masquerading as a Russian intelligence officer.
Although he told the would-be Russian spy he needed money to care for his ailing wife, bank records showed Justice was actually spending his money on another woman who hoodwinked Justice in an online relationship, prosecutors said in remarks reported by The Times. She sent him photos of a European model that she falsely claimed were of herself and persuaded him to send money and gifts through the mail, court records show.
Last month, prosecutors filed a brief with U.S. District Judge George H. Wu, recommending he sentence Justice to seven years and three months in prison — a harsher punishment than they would have otherwise requested. They revealed that Justice had asked the undercover agent during one of their final meetings to supply him with Anectine, a powerful muscle relaxant that can cause cardiac arrest in overdoses, The Times reported.
Justice told the agent that doctors had administered the drug to his wife in the past and he wanted to use it to help ease her chronic problems breathing during sleep. That excuse, prosecutors wrote in a filing, was a lie.
–City News Service