US Sailor Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Sending Sensitive Military Information to China

US Sailor Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Sending Sensitive Military Information to China

Date:

What to Know:

The United States Justice Department (DoJ) has reported that Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao has been sentenced today to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,500 fine for “transmitting sensitive U.S. military information to an intelligence officer from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in exchange for bribery payments.”

The Case:

Last August, the DoJ announced that Zhao was arrested and charged with espionage after “receiving bribes in exchange for transmitting sensitive U.S. military information to an individual posing as a maritime economic researcher, but who was actually an intelligence officer from the PRC.”

Zhao, who was stationed at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme at the time, allegedly “sent the Chinese military officer non-public and controlled operational plans for a large-scale U.S. military exercise in the Indo-Pacific Region, which detailed the specific location and timing of Naval force movements, amphibious landings, maritime operations and logistics support.”

Likewise, Zhao allegedly “photographed electrical diagrams and blueprints for a radar system stationed on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan.”

According to the Justice Department, Zhao was given nearly $15,000 for his espionage activities, where he “used sophisticated encrypted communication methods to transmit the information. He also destroyed evidence and concealed his relationship with the intelligence officer.”

Zhao pled guilty in October to one count of conspiring with the intelligence officer and one count of receiving a bribe.

Statements:

Following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada for the Central District of California said that “Zhao betrayed his country and disgraced himself when he accepted bribes from an intelligence officer with the People’s Republic of China. As a result, he has now been removed from the military and will serve time in federal prison. Today’s sentence shows that my office will swiftly act to root out and punish those who seek to undermine our nation’s security.”

Likewise, Acting Special Agent in Charge Angel Cruz of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Office of Special Projects stated that “Mr. Zhao betrayed his oath to the United States and deserves to be held fully accountable for accepting bribes in exchange for transmitting sensitive U.S. military information to an intelligence officer from the People’s Republic of China,.”

“NCIS will continue to leverage its unique law enforcement and counterintelligence authorities to vigorously pursue those who attempt to compromise our national security information. We are grateful to the FBI and Department of Justice for their substantial assistance to this lengthy investigation and greatly appreciate our continued partnership.”

Atlas
Atlashttp://theatlasnews.co
Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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