Navy captain sentenced for accepting bribes

Posted at 12:44 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 17:23:00-04

A U.S. Navy captain who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for information about U.S. ship locations was sentenced to 46 months in prison, and ordered to pay $100,000 in fines and restitution.

Captain Daniel Dusek told the judge he'll never be able to forgive himself for what he's done, and that, "I can't even look at myself in the mirror anymore."

He added, "I am here to receive my punishment and my just desserts. I will hold this guilt in my heart for the rest of my life."

The judge's punishment was a little harsher than expected. The U.S. Attorney's office had asked that Captain Dusek be given 44 months in jail.

Court documents obtained by 10News say Dusek was accused of providing classified information to the Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, which has provided food, fuel and supplies to U.S. Navy vessels in Asia.

Prosecutors say GDMA asked captains re-route ships to ports owned by Leonard Francis or to small ports where they could impose fake port fees on the Navy.

RELATED: Malaysian contractor pleads guilty in US Navy bribery scheme

The years-long investigation has spanned a dozen countries and has gathered "terabyte upon terabyte of electronic data," including emails in which Francis, his managers and Navy officers discussed the arrangements. Francis was arrested in San Diego in 2013 after being lured there by military officials.

"The investigation is continuing and is gathering momentum," Pletcher said. "I can't speculate as to the people who will be charged in the future."

In return, documents say Dusek received, "things of value, including meals, alcohol, entertaiment, dozens o fnights and incidentals at luxury hotels, gifts, and the services of prostitutes."

The US Attorney's office called the scope of the conspiracy, "unimaginable."

The documents say, "Dusek sold out the US Navy and the entire US Military... (He) embarrassed the US Navy, put its sailors and warships at risk of exploitation, attack, or worse."

After Dusek got a U.S. aircraft carrier re-routed to a Malaysian port owned by Francis in 2010, the defense contractor said in an email that the captain "is a golden asset to drive the big decks (aircraft carriers) into our fat revenue GDMA ports."

Dusek told a company manager that he "wasn't worried about the security one bit," according to the plea agreement.

Dusek served as deputy director of operations for the 7th Fleet and later commanding officer of the amphibious assault ships USS Essex and USS Bonhomme Richard. He admitted to accepting the bribes between January 2009 and February 2011. He was released after agreeing to up his $250,000 Oregon home as bond. He faces up to five years in prison. He and his lawyer declined to comment outside the courtroom.

After Francis was arrested, Dusek deleted the contents of his email accounts to avoid detection by law enforcement, according to the plea agreement.