U.S. Capt. Daniel Dusek, the highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer charged so far in a bribery scandal, was sentenced Friday to 46 months in prison for selling classified information to an Asian defense contractor in exchange for prostitutes, luxury hotel stays, and other favors.
Dusek faulted family troubles, too much work, and “excessive amounts of alcohol” for making him vulnerable to bribes.
During a federal court hearing in San Diego, the Navy captain, who served as commander of the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault vessel, was also ordered to pay $100,000 in fines and restitution.
He is expected to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prison on June 15.
In press release announcing the sentence, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said:
Dusek, 49, pleaded guilty in January 2015 to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Dusek admitted that he used his influence as Deputy Director of Operations for the Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, and later as executive officer of the USS Essex and the commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard, to benefit Leonard Glenn Francis and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).
The Seventh Fleet oversees all U.S. Navy operations in Asia.
“For decades, GDMA provided port services to U.S. Navy ships and in return, Francis plied Dusek with meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, dozens of nights and incidentals at luxury hotels and the services of prostitutes, Dusek admitted,” added DOJ.
U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino, who reportedly gave the defendant a slightly harsher sentence than what prosecutors had envisioned, lambasted Dusek during the hearing.
“It’s truly unimaginable to the court that someone in your position with the United States Navy would sell out based on what was provided to you,” Sammartino said, noting that his actions “potentially jeopardized national security,” the Washington Post reports.
The Navy officer is one of 10 defendants charges so far in the massive bribery case, described by the Post as “perhaps the biggest corruption scandal in the Navy’s history.”
“Two sailors have already received prison terms, while two other Navy officers and a senior agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing,” reveals the news outlet.
Dusek admitted to committing crimes as a Navy officer in a statement filed in federal court earlier this week.
“I have disgraced myself and the Navy that I love and now end my naval career in utter humiliation,” he wrote.
“Dusek also hinted that other, higher-ranking officers were on the take, and that the relationship between the contractor and Navy brass was even more sordid than previously known,” reports the Post.
He said a senior officer had introduced him to the owner of the Glenn Defense Marine Asia contractor in 2010.
“His attorneys have argued that he should receive a prison sentence of no more than 27 months, noting that he turned himself in to investigators after Francis was arrested in September 2013,” notes the Post.
“Captain Dusek’s betrayal is the most distressing because the Navy placed so much trust, power and authority in his hands,” said Laura Duffy, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. “This is a fitting sentence for a man who was so valuable that his conspirators labeled him their ‘Golden Asset.’”