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Navy sailor charged with selling military secrets to China was allegedly encouraged by his mother to continue scheme

A San Diego-based Navy sailor recently charged with selling military secrets to China was allegedly encouraged by his mother to continue the illegal scheme, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Sheppard.

Jinchao Wei, 22, born in China and one of two United States Navy sailors arrested for the alleged offense, appeared before a judge on Tuesday and was denied bail due to being deemed a flight risk by prosecutors.

Sheppard argued that Wei is a danger both to the public based on information he allegedly provided as well as the thousands of sailors who are aboard ships that could be impacted by his actions.

The intelligence officer reportedly asked Wei in February 2022 for sensitive military information while applying for U.S citizenship at the same time.

Wei, an active-duty sailor serving as a machinist’s mate on the U.S.S. Essex stationed at Naval Base San Diego, was arrested last week and now faces espionage charges with the possibility of life in prison.

According to the Department of Justice, Wei allegedly used his security clearance and access to sensitive defense information to provide Chinese intelligence officers with details about the U.S.S. Essex and other ships.

During Christmas, Wei’s mother – who was unnamed – encouraged her son to continue selling information to China due to possible future job opportunities with the Chinese government; Sheppard reported this comment made by Wei’s mother in court.

“Specifically, the Chinese intelligence officer tasked Wei with passing him photos, videos and documents concerning U.S. Navy ships and their systems. The two agreed to hide their communications by deleting records of their conversations and using encrypted methods of communication,” the DOJ stated in a press release.

Wei was accused of providing the intelligence officer with information about defensive weapons, as well as 60 technical and mechanical manuals for systems aboard Navy ships. Additionally, the sailor allegedly disclosed the locations of various ships.

“In June 2022, the intelligence officer requested that Wei provide information about the number and training of U.S. Marines during an upcoming international maritime warfare exercise. In response to this request, Wei sent multiple photographs of military equipment to the intelligence officer,” the DOJ reported.

Officials have estimated that Wei may have earned between $10,000 and $15,000 for selling sensitive defense information to a Chinese intelligence officer. It remains uncertain, however, what the exact figure was.




8 Responses

  1. One can understand the thinking behind the World War II internments upon reading a story like this. Lamentable, but maybe blood is thicker than water after all.

  2. This is no surprise to me after all Communist Biden sells top secret documents to the Communist Chinese government.
    Remember The turncoat traitor Burgdol who was cooperating with the Taliban and got a step up in rank and deemed as a hero by Anti-American Communist Muslim Barack Obama.

  3. An act of Treason used to be met with the Death Penalty. The Government needs to bring it back. Just another blip in this Woke Military where they’re so desperate for bodies they’ll let anyone in.

  4. We keep seeing this play out over and over, don’t we? The truth is that 1st, and 2nd generation Chinese Americans should not be allowed into sensitive national security positions. The lure of the Motherland, familial pressures and the fact that the CCP can threaten the safety of relatives within China makes them security risks. There is no way to sugarcoat this unfortunate reality. The young Chinese Americans that my son grew up tended to stick together, were kept on very short leashes by their parents, were forced to learn Mandarin (which in and of itself is not a bad thing), and to attend Chinese school every Sunday (to imprint the primacy of their Chinese identity over their American one?). Most of them probably grew up to be loyal Americans, but I have no doubt that a much higher percentage of them have a loyalty to China, than the average Irish American or Polish American has to Ireland or Poland.

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