A former CIA officer who lived in Northern Virginia years ago has been arrested and charged with "unlawful retention of national defense information," the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday, as first reported by our affiliate WJLA.
WJLA on Tuesday reported that Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, who is reportedly also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested Monday night at JFK Airport in New York City, according to officials.
Lee started working at the CIA in 1994 as a case officer, according to court documents, where he landed a top-secret clearance level.
Officials say Lee is a naturalized American citizen who was a resident of Hong Kong at the time of his arrest.
Court documents show that Lee lived in Virginia in 2012 and when he came back to the United States with his family they stayed in hotels in Virginia and Hawaii. It was during those visits to hotels that the FBI tracked Lee and searched his rooms.
"While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
"During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense," it added.
"Specifically, agents found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities."
Lee faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years if he's found guilty of retaining classified information.