A former U.S. defense intelligence agent was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for selling national secrets to China, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Ron Rockwell Hansen, 60, was sentenced after pleading guilty in March to attempting to communicate, deliver or transmit information involving the national defense of the United States to China.
“Ron Hansen was willing to betray his oath and his country for financial gain,” said Paul Haertel, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City field office. “This case brings to light that not all spies are foreign adversaries. Insider threats pose a significant national security risk and the FBI will continue to aggressively investigate those who put our country and citizens at risk.”
Hansen was arrested June 2, 2018, while attempting to board a flight to China and was found with thousands of dollars in cash, documents with locations of U.S. Cyber Command outposts and a passcode-protected thumb drive hidden in a shoe.
As part of his plea agreement, Hansen admitted that he was recruited by agents of a Chinese intelligence service to solicit national security information from an intelligence case officer working for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
He also said he met with the DIA case officer on the day of his arrest and received documents containing classified national defense information.
In addition to the 10-year federal prison sentence, Hansen agreed to forfeit property acquired through or traceable to his offense, including that used to facilitate the crime.
Copyright 2019 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.