Anchorage-based soldier, 22, held on suspicion of spying

FBI: Officials quiet about specifics in case; suspect held in city jail.

Anchorage Daily NewsNovember 1, 2011 

A 22-year-old Army military policeman from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is in custody in Anchorage on suspicion of espionage, an FBI spokesman said Tuesday.

The soldier, Spc. William Colton Millay, was booked in the Anchorage jail at 8 p.m. Friday. He's being held without bail, a jail spokesman said.

An Army spokesman said Millay, from Owensboro, Ky., had been arrested at 6:30 a.m. Friday on Elmendorf-Richardson by special agents from the Army counterintelligence service and the Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Eric Gonzalez, spokesman for the FBI in Anchorage, said Millay was arrested following an investigation by the FBI and Army counterintelligence. He said the case is being handled in the military justice system.

Neither the Army nor the FBI would describe the nature of the allegations against Millay and no charging documents were available. The spokesman for the Anchorage jail, run by the Alaska Department of Corrections, said Millay was being held under a long-standing agreement with federal authorities. He said he had no information on any charges Millay might be facing.

Millay was assigned to the 164th Military Police Company, part of the 793rd Military Police Battalion of the new 2nd Engineer Brigade at Elmendorf-Richardson, according to Lt. Col. William Coppernoll, a spokesman for the Army in Alaska.

Most of that 170-member MP company, the "Arctic Enforcers," left in March for a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan, mainly to train police there. The company lost four soldiers in a roadside bomb attack in Laghman Province in June.

Coppernoll said Millay was assigned to the company's rear detachment, the small group of soldiers who remain behind at their home base during a deployment.

Bloggers commenting on Millay since the Army Times reported his arrest on Saturday have linked him to the WikiLeaks case in which a soldier is accused of supplying hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to the website.

But Gonzalez said there was no connection. "This has nothing to do with WikiLeaks," he said, but wouldn't elaborate.

Coppernoll also declined to provide specifics. "We are still very early in the legal process," he said in an email.

In a prepared statement, Mary Frances Rook, the FBI special agent in charge of the Anchorage field office, said Millay's arrest "was the result of the close working relationship between the FBI and its military partners in Alaska. Through this ongoing partnership, we are better able to protect our nation."


Reach Richard Mauer at rmauer@adn.com or 257-4345.

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