Classified Information: Ex-CIA officer arrested

Ex-CIA officer arrested for retaining classified information

Ex-CIA Officer Arrested for Retaining Notebooks Full of Classified Information

WASHINGTON: An ex-Central Intelligence Agency officer was detained at a US airport on Monday night regarding the charges that he illegally held on to highly classified information, the US Justice Department said Tuesday.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a US citizen who now resides in Hong Kong, used to keep a top secret clearance and started doing work for the CIA in 1994.

The Justice Department stated that in 2012, FBI agents searched his hotel rooms during the vacations to Virginia and Hawaii. They identified he had two small books comprising handwritten information on specifics such as the true names and numbers of spy recruits and covert CIA employees.
He was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The case is going to be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. But Lee made his first court appearance on Tuesday before a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn. The judge ordered Lee held without bail.

A federal public defender who represented Lee at Tuesday’s hearing declined to comment.
Based upon an affidavit filed by an FBI agent, Lee, 53, served in the US Army from 1982 through 1986 and worked for the CIA from 1994 through 2007.

The FBI agent wrote that Lee and his family left Hong Kong in August 2012 to travel to northern Virginia. During the trip, they stayed in hotels in which the FBI found the books.

The small books were found inside Lee’s luggage, sealed in a small clear plastic vacation pack.
The handwritten information inside varied with regard to classification, however, the agent said no less than one page contained top secret information, “the disclosure of those might lead to extremely grave trouble for the national security of the United States.”

The agent also noted that classified cables Lee wrote when he had been a case officer talking about his interactions with CIA assets were revealed in the two books.

Lee was interviewed by the FBI five separate times in 2013 and do not share he had the books. He also met with former CIA colleagues about that period without giving back the materials to the government, the Justice Department said.

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