- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Chesapeake defense contractor faces up to five years in federal prison for paying bribes to public officials.

Federal authorities say 50-year-old Roderic J. Smith pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy charge Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. Sentencing was set for June 23.

According to court documents, Smith and a business partner paid cash bribes to officials from the Navy’s Military Sealift Command in exchange for contracts on various telecommunications projects. About $144,000 changed hands from March 2005 until 2007.

The business partner and a Military Sealift Command official previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.

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