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Feds charge former Green Beret with espionage with Russia

Prosecutors say Peter Debbins periodically met with Russian intelligence agents. The spy activity dates back as far as 1996.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Federal prosecutors have charged a former Army Green Beret living in northern Virginia with espionage with Russia dating back as far as 1996. 

Prosecutors said Friday that 45-year-old Peter Debbins of Gainesville periodically met Russian intelligence and was even assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents in 1997. 

Authorities said the man was arrested Friday. Online court records remained sealed, so it was unclear whether Debbins has an attorney. 

It is the second Justice Department prosecution announced this week accusing a government or military official of transmitting U.S. secrets to a foreign country. The other, in Hawaii, charged a former CIA officer with spying for China. 

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