Former CIA Officer Arrested For Storing Confidential Information

A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged for illegally storing national defense information, the US Attorney said Tuesday.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, or Zhen Cheng Li, 53, was arrested Monday (15/1), when arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. Lee, an American citizen, currently resident in Hong Kong, and began working as a CIA officer since 1994.

He was brought to trial in New York on Tuesday, but will be charged in northern Virginia where the headquarters of the CIA have an office. He was accused of illegally storing national defense information and facing the threat of a 10-year sentence if found guilty.

Prosecutors say in 2012, FBI agents who searched Lee's hotel room while he traveled to Virginia and Hawaii, found two notebooks containing secret information, including names and phone numbers from CIA agents, notes from meetings, locations operational meeting, location of a secret facility.

According to a report compiled by FBI agents, Lee has been interviewed by the FBI five times in 2013 and never disclosed the ownership of the notebook. He also met his former colleagues at the CIA without returning the materials to the government, the Attorney General's office said in a statement. [ps/jm]