WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Central Intelligence Agency officer was arrested at an airport on Monday night in connection with charges that he illegally retained highly classified information, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a U.S. citizen who now lives in Hong Kong, used to maintain a top secret clearance and began working for the CIA in 1994.
The Justice Department said FBI agents searched his hotel rooms in 2012, during trips to Virginia and Hawaii. They discovered he had two small books containing handwritten information on details such as the true names and numbers of spy recruits and covert CIA employees.
He was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
An affidavit filed by an FBI agent showed that Lee, 53, served in the U.S. Army from 1982 through 1986 and worked for the CIA from 1994 through 2007.
The books were discovered inside Lee’s luggage, sealed in a small clear plastic travel pack.
The handwritten information inside varied in terms of classification, but the agent said at least one page contained top secret information, “the disclosure of which could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”
The agent also said that classified cables Lee wrote while he was a case officer describing his interactions with CIA assets were reflected in the two books.