Soldier pleads innocent to peddling top-secret photos

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A soldier accused of offering photographs of a top-secret military facility to a Philadelphia newspaper pleaded innocent Tuesday and his lawyer said he hoped to reach a plea bargain.

Army Spc. Maurice Threats, 22, of Cascade, Md., is charged with peddling photos of the Alternate Joint Communications Center, a facility widely known as Site R. The center is inside a hollowed-out granite mountain near the Pennsylvania-Maryland line, and is one of several relocation sites for government leaders during national emergencies. It was designed to withstand a nuclear attack.

Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser scheduled trial for Dec. 10, but Threats' court-appointed attorney, Thomas Thornton, said he wanted a plea agreement. Thornton said he had not seen the photos but has been told they are no more revealing than photos made public by others.

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