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Contractor charged for sharing U.S. info

March 19, 2013 at 8:01 AM   |   Comments

HONOLULU, March 19 (UPI) -- A U.S. defense contractor was charged with giving national defense secrets to a Chinese woman with whom he was having a relationship, officials said.

A criminal complaint unsealed Monday in federal court in Hawaii said Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, communicated "national defense information regarding existing war plans, information regarding nuclear weapons and relations with international partners" to a 27-year-old Chinese national identified only as "Person 1."

Bishop met the woman at a conference on international military defense issues in June 2011 and the complaint said she may have been there to target individuals like Bishop to access information, ABC News reported Tuesday.

The complaint said Bishop hid his relationship with Person 1 from the U.S. government even though he was required to report all foreign contacts to maintain his security clearance.

Investigators used a wiretap to learn Bishop was discussing "national defense information regarding planned deployments of U.S. strategic nuclear systems, as well as the ability to detect low- and medium-range ballistic missiles of foreign governments to Person 1," the court document read. The transmission of this information to foreign contacts could cause "serious danger to U.S. national security," it said.

Person 1 remains in the United States and has not been charged yet with any crimes, ABC News reported.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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