Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wire: Pentagon Staffer Charged in China Spy Case

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2009 -- Newswires reported late yesterday and this morning that a civilian employee of the U.S. Defense Department was arrested Wednesday on espionage charges that he sold classified information and passed other sensitive documents to a spy for the Chinese government who has been convicted of compromising another Pentagon employee.

James Wilbur Fondren Jr., 62, was charged in federal court in Virginia with conspiracy to communicate classified information to an agent of a foreign government. Fondren faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

The Washington Times reported that Fondren, who has been suspended since February 2008 from his job as deputy director of the U.S. Pacific Command's Washington liaison office, turned himself in to federal agents Wednesday morning and was released without having to post bond, but will be on GPS monitoring.

The Associated Press reported that authorities say Fondren was involved for years in what spy-hunters call a "false flag" operation -- believing he was feeding information to one government, when in fact his handler was working for another country.

Fondren is the second Pacific Command China affairs specialist to be linked to passing classified to China, the Washington Times noted.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Details: Defense staffer charged in China spy case

Source: Pentagon worker charged with leaking info to China

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