By Vaughn Hoisington | USA
Former CIA officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, was taken into custody Monday night after landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport, under suspicion that he disclosed the identities of U.S. spies to Chinese authorities.
Lee is facing a charge of unlawful retention of national defense information, which would carry a 10-year prison sentence if he were to be found guilty.
Lee had top secret security clearance from 1994 to 2007 and has been accused of breaking the non-disclosure agreement that accompanies such clearance.
His suspected disclosures have been connected to the deaths and imprisonment of 18 to 20 CIA informants that occurred in China from 2010 through 2012.
A court affidavit stated that while Lee was staying in hotels in Virginia and Hawaii, a court authorized search of the rooms led to the discovery of a datebook and address book that contained classified information. After inspecting photographs of evidence found during these 2012 searches, it was discovered that the address book contained names and phone numbers of covert CIA operatives, and the addresses of some CIA facilities.
The affidavit also mentions that Lee never expressed that he had books with such information during his five interviews with FBI agents in 2013.
The CIA classification authority states in the affidavit that “the books contained classified information,” and “disclosure of which could cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States.”