Justice Department Indicts Ex-CIA Officer On Spying Charges

(CN) – The Justice Department on Tuesday indicted an ex-CIA case officer suspected of passing information to Chinese intelligence agents.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a resident of Hong Kong, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government.

He also was charged with two counts of unlawfully retaining documents related to U.S. national defense.

In a written statement, prosecutors said Lee was a case officer for the CIA until 2007, and that he illegally held on to classified documents after he left the agency that included names and numbers of covert CIA employees and locations of covert facilities.

The indictment alleges that in April 2010, while Lee was living in Hong Kong, he was approached by two Chinese intelligence officers who offered to pay him for information.

Prosecutors claim Lee cooperated with the Chinese through at least 2011, communicating covertly with his contacts through a series of email addresses.

In August 2012, Lee and his family left Hong Kong to return to the United States and live in northern Virginia.  While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia.  During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense.

Specifically, the indictment says, agents found two books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, the names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities.

Agents also found a thumb drive on which was stored a document later determined to contain information classified at the Secret level, the indictment says.

Prosecutors say during the period in question, Lee made numerous unexplained cash deposits to his bank accounts, and repeatedly lied to investigators during voluntary interviews when asked about travel to China and his actions overseas.

“The allegations in this case are troubling,” said Tracy Doherty-McCormick, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Conspiring with foreign agents poses a real and serious threat toward our national security.”

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