2 Navy sailors arrested for selling military secrets to China: DOJ

 Two United States Navy sailors were recently arrested for allegedly selling military secrets to China, a press release published Thursday by the Department of Justice revealed.

Navy sailors stationed in California were arrested and charged in two separate cases for sharing sensitive military information with Chinese Communist Party intelligence officers in exchange for money, the DOJ reported.

Jinchao Wei, also referred to as Patrick Wei, was an active-duty sailor stationed at Naval Base San Diego when he was charged this week for conspiracy to send national defense information to a CCP intelligence officer.

Wei, who had security clearance, allegedly provided China with photos, videos, and documents containing information about Navy ships beginning in February 2022. He was also accused of describing defensive weapons, disclosing the locations of ships, and providing nearly 60 technical and mechanical manuals for multiple systems aboard various ships.

"In June 2022, the intelligence officer requested that Wei provide information about the number and training of U.S. Marines during an upcoming international maritime warfare exercise. In response to this request, Wei sent multiple photographs of military equipment to the intelligence officer," the DOJ's press release revealed. 

Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao, also referred to as Thomas Zhao, was accused of providing sensitive military information to a CCP intelligence officer posing as a maritime economic researcher. 

The 26-year-old was stationed at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme when he allegedly accepted bribes from the intelligence officer beginning in August 2021. According to the DOJ, Zhao used his security clearance to inform China about operational plans for a military exercise in the Indo-Pacific region.

"The indictment further alleges that in exchange for bribes, Zhao also photographed electrical diagrams and blueprints for a radar system stationed on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan," the DOJ reported. "The intelligence officer allegedly directed Zhao to conceal their relationship and to destroy evidence of the unlawful and corrupt scheme."

Zhao allegedly received $14,866 from the intelligence officer for the sensitive military information. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Assistant Director Suzanne Turner of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division called the arrests "a reminder of the relentless, aggressive efforts of the People's Republic of China to undermine our democracy and threaten those who defend it."

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department's National Security Division stated, "These individuals stand accused of violating the commitments they made to protect the United States and betraying the public trust, to the benefit of the PRC government."

"The Department of Justice will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to counter threats from China and to deter those who aid them in breaking our laws and threatening our national security," Olsen added.

2 Navy sailors arrested for selling military secrets to China: DOJ 2 Navy sailors arrested for selling military secrets to China: DOJ Reviewed by Your Destination on August 04, 2023 Rating: 5

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