LOS ANGELES: A US Navy petty officer pleaded responsible on Tuesday (Oct 10) to offering delicate navy info to a Chinese language intelligence officer, the Justice Division mentioned.
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 mentioned 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 keeping with US officers, Zhao, who was stationed at a naval base north of Los Angeles, obtained almost US$15,000 from the Chinese language intelligence officer between August 2021 and Could 2023.
In alternate, he handed over delicate info concerning US Navy operational safety, workout routines and important 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 companies of the Individuals’s Republic of China actively goal (safety) clearance holders throughout the navy, looking for to entice them with cash to supply delicate authorities info,” Assistant Legal professional Basic Matthew Olsen mentioned.
“When contacted by his co-conspirator, slightly 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, pictures and movies detailing the operation of ships and their programs.
Final week, a former US Military sergeant was arrested for looking for to supply categorized 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 trying to ship it to China.