WASHINGTON (AP) - The government is recommending a 17½-year prison term for an American security guard who admits he tried to sell secret photos and other secret information to China's Ministry of State Security after the guard lost $159,000 in the stock market.
The Justice Department says Bryan Underwood took photographs of restricted areas at the new U.S. consulate in Guangzhou and planned to use them to help China eavesdrop on U.S. officials. Underwood drafted a letter expressing his desire to work for the China ministry, but was turned away when he attempted to deliver it. Underwood came under suspicion when a polygraph examination by U.S. law enforcement agents detected deception in some of his answers. He pleaded guilty to attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Two inmates have pleaded guilty to kidnapping in connection with a crime spree through four states that began with an escape from a Louisiana jail and included the death of an Ohio man they took captive.
Darian Pierce and Ricky Wedgeworth entered the pleas Monday in federal court in Jackson. U.S. District Judge David Bramlette set sentencing for May 30. Prosecutors recommended each man be sentenced to the maximum of life in prison. According to federal prosecutors, Pierce and Wedgeworth escaped from the Louisiana State Police compound in Baton Rouge on March 4, 2011, and kidnapped Ohio businessman David Cupps from a hotel in Vicksburg, Miss., a few days later. Cupps' beaten and strangled body was found in Bessemer, Ala. Pierce and Wedgeworth were caught in Tennessee after 10 days on the run.