Ex-CIA officer charged with keeping notebooks full of classified information

Ex-CIA Officer Suspected of Spying for China Causing Death of 20 Americans

Jerry Chung #Shing Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen, and former #Cia Officer was arrested on Monday and charged with being in unlawful possession of national defense information.

The statement says Lee was arrested on charges of "unlawful retention of national defense information", and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted. When he flew to Virginia, for reasons that are not explained, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a warrant to search Lee's luggage and hotel room.

The notebooks included true names and phone numbers of covert assets, operational notes from asset meetings and locations of covert facilities, the DOJ said.

Lee had his initial appearance in the Eastern District of NY at 2 p.m. Tuesday. His attorney could not be immediately reached Tuesday evening.

Court documents say Lee had been a Central Intelligence Agency case officer since 1994.

Lee, who is a naturalized US citizen, was charged with a single count of unlawfully possessing national defense information, based on a 2012 search that found him to be in possession of two notebooks containing the true names of CIA assets and covert facilities, which are some of the agency's most closely guarded secrets. Lee and his family lived in northern Virginia until June 2013, court documents say.

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Lee has been a suspect in a long-running probe to determine if a mole inside the US intelligence community had led to the deaths of a number of CIA assets in China, according to people with knowledge of the probe, which was first reported by the New York Times. The books contained handwritten notes detailing classified information.

The allegations relate to two small books found by FBI investigators during a search of Lee's luggage during a trip to the U.S. in 2012.

According to reports, a slew of informants that China became aware of in 2010 were systematically killed after the former CIA agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, reportedly started sharing intelligence on them with Chinese officials.

Authorities said Lee possessed classified information ranging from secret to top secret, "the disclosure of which could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States".

Many of the U.S. informants were either imprisoned or killed after the Chinese government took down the CIA's spying operation starting in 2010. It's unclear how the Federal Bureau of Investigation lured Lee back to the USA but officials say there have been several undercover attempts to incriminate him, and at least one confrontational interview during which he denied being a spy.

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