Former CIA Case Officer Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Espionage and Retention of National Defense Information — J

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May 8th, DoJ announced that Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53 of Hong Kong was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia with one count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government, and two counts of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense. 

Lee, a U.S. citizen who speaks fluent Chinese.  Lee was a case officer for the CIA until 2007.  After leaving the CIA, Lee resided in Hong Kong.  The indictment alleges that in April 2010, two Chinese intelligence officers (IOs) approached Lee and offered to pay him for the information.  The indictment alleges that Lee received taskings from the IOs until at least 2011.  The taskings allegedly requested that Lee provide documents and information relating to the national defense of the United States.  According to the indictment, the IOs provided Lee with a series of email addresses where he could communicate covertly with them.  The indictment further alleges that Lee prepared documents responsive to the taskings, made numerous unexplained cash deposits, and repeatedly lied to the U.S. government during voluntary interviews when asked about travel to China and his actions overseas. 

In August 2012, Lee and his family left Hong Kong to return to the United States to 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, agents found two books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true 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.  During voluntary interviews with the FBI, Lee admitted preparing the document in response to taskings from the IO. 

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.   If convicted, Lee faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress.  If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Lee's case was investigated by the FBI's Washington Field Office.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys of National Security Division's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia. 

The above was from DoJ Press Release Number: 18-600

Download Lee Indictment



China killed or imprisoned several CIA informants in the country starting in 2010, unraveling the agency’s source network in a devastating setback for the CIA.  Credit Andy Wong/Associated Press


After China rolled up U.S. intelligence assets in China, the Chinese government then initiated what is called a soft power war against the U.S. with their government sponsored cultural centers, infiltrating every top U.S. university.  The cultural centers are said to be havens for Chinese spies, and also provide a platform for Chinese propaganda against unsuspecting U.S. college students.  It appears that the Chinese government has made some headway in the propaganda efforts on U.S. college campuses, as some Millennials have expressed their preference to live under a Communist regime as opposed to a Democratic one. 

China has also undergone a hard power war against the U.S. with militarization of commercial sea lanes.  80% of the world's commerce flows through those militarized sea lanes known as the South China Sea. 

Then we have China-gate involving the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign, followed years later by what many have characterized as  former President Obama's weakening of our nation's CI abilities. 

We see our current time frame where the Pentagon has barred sales of Chinese electronics namely cell phones manufactured by Chinese ZTE and Huawei on U.S. military installations, fearing the electronics in question could be used by Chinese intelligence against U.S. national defense.  IMO the Pentagon needs to go farther, as a number of popular TV's that have embedded cameras and microphones manufactured by Chinese Central Committee owned businesses that are being sold nationwide in U.S. big box stores.  Those TV's cameras and microphones with the proper back-doors could allow Chinese intelligence access into U.S. military and intelligence personnel's homes. 

The spy versus spy business never stops, just as the world turns, it is a constant for better or worse. 


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