WASHINGTON — A former C.I.A. officer was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in jail by a federal choose in Northern Virginia for passing secrets and techniques to China in return for $25,000, bringing to an in depth one among a number of circumstances involving Chinese language makes an attempt to recruit former American intelligence officers.
The officer, Kevin Patrick Mallory of Leesburg, Va., had confronted life in jail however Decide T. S. Ellis III determined that was too harsh. Nonetheless, it was greater than the 10-year sentence that Mr. Mallory’s attorneys had argued was applicable.
“Mallory not solely put our nation at nice threat, however he endangered the lives of particular human property who put their very own security in danger for our nationwide protection,” mentioned G. Zachary Terwilliger, United States lawyer for the Jap District of Virginia.
A jury convicted Mr. Mallory, 62, final 12 months after an almost two-week trial in Alexandria. Prosecutors mentioned that he offered a Chinese language intelligence officer with categorized paperwork, a violation of the Espionage Act.
On the time of his recruitment, prosecutors mentioned Mr. Mallory was in debt and behind his mortgage, making him a pretty goal for Chinese language intelligence. In 2017, he twice traveled to China, the place an intelligence operative gave him a telephone so they may talk covertly. The F.B.I. later discovered categorized paperwork on the telephone, together with a minimum of two that had been efficiently transmitted. Prosecutors mentioned one of many paperwork “contained distinctive identifiers for human sources who had helped the USA authorities.”
Mr. Mallory’s case is amongst a spate of latest ones involving former American intelligence officers who had been recruited by the Chinese language. In 2018, the F.B.I. arrested Jerry Chun Shing Lee, one other former C.I.A. officer, who had repeated contacts with Chinese language intelligence. He pleaded responsible in Might to conspiring to spy for the Chinese language. Mr. Lee additionally might face life in jail, however as a part of the plea deal prosecutors will search a sentence of 17 to 27 years.
In one other case, Ron Rockwell Hansen, a former contractor for the Protection Intelligence Company, is more likely to spend 15 years in jail. He had met recurrently with Chinese language intelligence operatives in China, receiving lots of of hundreds of dollars. The F.B.I. started investigating his actions in 2014 and arrested him after a extremely managed operation. He pleaded responsible to tried espionage and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Like Mr. Hansen, Mr. Mallory had been employed by the Protection Intelligence Company. Protection attorneys for Mr. Mallory had tried to say the circumstances have been related however prosecutors disagreed.
“The primary, and most vital, distinction between Hansen and defendant is that Hansen accepted duty for his actions — and did so directly,” prosecutors mentioned in a court docket submitting this 12 months. “Conversely, to today, defendant has but to just accept any duty in any respect for his actions.”