Navy commander sentenced in bribery case

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SAN DIEGO -- A U.S. Navy commander who supplied classified ship schedules and information on the Navy's ballistic missile defense operations in the Pacific to a foreign defense contractor in exchange for cash, gifts and prostitutes was sentenced Friday to 78 months in federal prison.

Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy and bribery in the case involving defense contractor Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard'' Francis.

Outside court, Misiewicz said: “I'm so, so disappointed in myself. It was never my intent to harm anyone.''

U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino handed down a 6 1/2-year sentence instead of the 41-month term requested by the defense.

The judge remarked on the defendant's “very extraordinary'' 30-year military career, but said Misiewicz abused his power and influence, “betraying sir, your country and your shipmates.''

”It's a tragedy for you. It's a tragedy for this country,'' Sammartino said.

Misiewicz's attorney, Mark Adams, told the judge that there was “simply no excuse'' for his client's behavior.

Adams said Misiewicz broke the law by supplying classified ship schedules to Francis and his company, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia from January 2011 until September 2013.

Misiewicz allowed himself to be bribed but was not aware of the fraud that GDMA was involved in, Adams told the judge.

The defendant tearfully apologized to his family and friends in court.

”I'm so sorry to all,'' Misiewicz said. “I take full responsibility for (my) reckless behavior. I'm sorry for letting you down. I love my country. I love my Navy.''

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Pletcher said Misiewicz willfully accepted lavish gifts from Francis and in return demanded expensive hotels, prostitutes and other gifts for him and family members.

GDMA provided husbanding services such as tugboats, fuel and trash removal services for U.S. Navy ships and submarines when they arrived at ports throughout the Pacific.

Misiewicz admitted that he and his co-conspirators took steps to avoid detection by law enforcement, by, among other things, using clandestine email accounts, which they periodically deleted.

Misiewicz was ordered to surrender for custody Aug. 1.