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Sailors Convicted For Helping Stowaway

December 1, 1988

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ Four sailors have pleaded guilty to hiding an Irish stowaway aboard a destroyer in a trans-Atlantic voyage that prompted the Navy to tighten security aboard ships.

An investigation showed Suzanne Twomey of Cork, Ireland, could not have hidden aboard the USS Conyngham during a 10-day trip to Virginia without inside help, said Lt. Cmdr. John Lloyd, a spokesman for the Atlantic Fleet Surface Force.

″The only thing that resulted from the incident was heightened security awareness for ships that are taking visitors aboard overseas,″ he said.

Crewmen have been told to keep an eye on visitors to make sure they leave, Lloyd said.

Ms. Twomey, 17, was discovered in a small storage compartment a day before the ship reached port. She was flown back to Ireland after the ship docked.

Seaman Apprentice David G. Peters, who authorities said invited Ms. Twomey aboard ship and falsified a log to show she had left, pleaded guilty at a court-martial Monday to hiding an illegal alien and aiding her entry into the United States, Lloyd said.

Peters was sentenced to the 70 days he had served in the brig. He also received a bad-conduct discharge, which was suspended contingent on his good behavior for 12 months.

Seaman Apprentice Paul D. Davidson was sentenced on similar charges to 30 days in the brig and ordered to forfeit two-thirds of his pay for a month. He served four days before trial and has returned to the brig to serve his remaining time, Lloyd said.

Charges against Gunners Mate 3rd Class Donald L. Nichols and Seaman Anthony M. Drady were reduced to offenses that were heard before a captain’s mast, a form of non-judicial punishment. The federal Privacy Act bars disclosure of the punishment, Lloyd said.

Four other sailors implicated in the incident were given undisclosed punishment at a captain’s mast last summer.

All of the men remain assigned to the ship, Lloyd said.

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