LOS ANGELES: A US Navy petty officer pleaded responsible on Tuesday (Oct 10) to offering delicate army info to a Chinese language intelligence officer, the Justice Division stated.
Wenheng Zhao, 26, and one other US sailor, Jinchao Wei, had been arrested in August on suspicion of spying for China.
Zhao pleaded responsible in a federal courtroom in California to expenses of conspiring with a international intelligence officer and accepting a bribe, the Justice Division stated in a press release.
He faces as much as 5 years in jail for conspiracy and a most of 15 years for bribery. Sentencing was set for Jan 8.
In line with US officers, Zhao, who was stationed at a naval base north of Los Angeles, acquired almost US$15,000 from the Chinese language intelligence officer between August 2021 and Could 2023.
In change, he handed over delicate info concerning US Navy operational safety, workout routines and significant infrastructure.
Zhao particularly supplied details about a large-scale maritime coaching train within the Pacific and electrical diagrams and blueprints for a radar system situated in Okinawa, Japan.
“The intelligence providers of the Individuals’s Republic of China actively goal (safety) clearance holders throughout the army, in search of to entice them with cash to offer delicate authorities info,” Assistant Legal professional Normal Matthew Olsen stated.
“When contacted by his co-conspirator, moderately than reporting it to the Navy, the defendant selected greed over defending the nationwide safety of the US.”
Wei, who served on the amphibious assault ship the USS Essex, is accused of handing over to China dozens of paperwork, photographs and movies detailing the operation of ships and their methods.
Final week, a former US Military sergeant was arrested for in search of to offer labeled info to China.
Joseph Schmidt, 29, who served in a military intelligence unit from 2015 till 2020, is charged with retaining nationwide protection info and making an attempt to ship it to China.