Ex-CIA officer tried to sell classified info to China, Justice Dept. says

A former CIA officer was charged Tuesday with allegedly trying to give the Chinese government classified information, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, worked for the CIA between 1994 and 2007. After leaving the agency, Lee reportedly moved his family to Hong Kong.

According to the Justice Department, two Chinese intelligence officers approached Lee in 2010 and offered to pay him for information.

During trips Virginia and Hawaii in 2012, FBI agents secretly searched Lee’s hotel rooms and found evidence that he was in possession of classified information whose disclosure potentiated “grave damage to the National Security of the United States,” according to an FBI affidavit.

Lee was previously arrested in January at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City for unlawfully possessing top secret information.

The information supposedly revealed the names of numbers of spies and CIA employees, Reuters reported.

Prosecutors say Lee made “unexplained cash deposits, and repeatedly lied to the U.S. government during voluntary interviews when asked about travel to China and his actions overseas.”

Lee was charged Tuesday in the Eastern District of Virginia. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.