Deadline put off for government indictment in Regan spying case
WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge has extended the deadline for the government to indict Brian Regan, a former Air Force sergeant accused of spying.
Judge Claude Hilton gave the government until Oct. 19 to file an indictment against Regan, who was arrested Aug. 23 as he attempted to board a German airliner at Dulles International Airport.
Federal prosecutors allege that Regan, a decorated former serviceman who worked for a defense contractor and had access to top secret national security information, tried to give classified documents to a foreign country, which a source identified as Libya.
Citing the ”complex nature of the investigation and the classified nature of much of the material involved,” the judge moved the indictment deadline, which is normally 30 days after arrest.
Federal prosecutors and Regan’s court-appointed attorney, Nina Ginsburg, discussed the case and agreed to seek an extension for the indictment deadline and for Regan’s detention and preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday, according to court documents.
The hearing was moved to Sept. 28. Regan, a resident of Bowie, Md., and father of four, will remain in custody until the hearing, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Regan told a federal judge at his initial hearing last week that he was not in a position to hire his own lawyer. An FBI affidavit said Regan had debts of $53,000.
The court appointed Ginsburg, who has worked on other spy cases.
Ginsburg defended Jean-Phillipe Wispelaere, a former Australian intelligence agent who pleaded guilty to attempted espionage and received a 15-year prison sentence in June.
Ginsburg also defended Earl Edwin Pitts, a former FBI counterintelligence agent who pleaded guilty to spying charges in 1997.
Regan was trained in solving secret codes and worked for the National Reconnaissance Office, a military intelligence agency in Chantilly, Va., that designs, builds and operates the U.S. network of spy satellites.
He retired from the Air Force in August 2000 and went back to work at NRO a few months later as an employee of TRW, a military contractor. He regained his security clearances for the job.
The government alleges that Regan sought to give a foreign government a secret CIA report, pictures taken by U.S. satellites and other classified documents.
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