Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Ex-CIA Officer Arrested From New York Airport For Retaining Classified Information

The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building
Patty Aguilar | 17 January, 2018, 03:48

Prosecutors said that in the books, he had written down details about meetings between C.I.A. informants and undercover agents, as well as their real names and phone numbers. The charges are based on a 2012 search that revealed Lee was in possession of two notebooks that contained the real names of Central Intelligence Agency operatives and covert facilities, NBC News reported.

His arrest comes at a sensitive time in relations between the world's two largest economies, as the Trump administration leans on Beijing to take greater action to curb the nuclear and missile programmes of North Korea. The report, quoting intelligence officials, suggested the loss of the agents was the result of a retired Chinese-American CIA officer who spied for China.

A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer was arrested Monday night at JFK International Airport in NY and charged with unlawful retention of national defense information.

In a complaint filed in a NY federal court, the Justice Department said that in 2012, FBI agents with court-ordered warrants secretly searched Lee's luggage while he was traveling in the United States and found he was carrying top secret materials he was not authorized to have.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, aka Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested Monday after he arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in NY.

The FBI agent wrote that Lee and his family left Hong Kong in August 2012 to travel to northern Virginia.

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The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

A federal public defender who represented Lee at Tuesday's hearing declined to comment.

Court records indicate Lee is a naturalized USA citizen and an Army veteran. He appeared in court Tuesday on one charge of unlawful retention of national defense information. There is also no explanation for why Lee is being charged so many years after he was found in possession of classified documents.

O'Brien stated in the affidavit that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed Lee five separate times in May and June 2013 but that he did not mention having the classified documents.

But others in the agency blamed sloppy work and not a mole, the Times added.

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